What’s wrong with Indian entertainment and why Rs 100 Cr Bollywood club is not cool?

We recently interviewed Abhigyan Jha Founder & CEO of Undercover Productions Ltd (the man behind JayHind TV and hits like Movers and Shakers). We asked him what he thought about the Rs 100 Cr club which Movie makers feel proud of and what challenges Indian entertainment industry is facing. The answers he gave are very candid, fascinating and revealing. Read them with your eyes wide open 🙂

Mehak:

Why do u think 100 Crore Bollywood club is not cool?

Abhigyan:

We have 121 crore people in this country so accordingly it doesn’t make sense. If a movie is making 100 crores business that means it’s collecting less than Rs 1 per capita which is extremely low. If we take example of US which has 310 million people, and movies there make upto 3-4 dollars per capita, we can see a huge difference. The simple reason for this huge disparity is that most Indians are not watching Bollywood movies and it proves that the content of our movies is getting pathetic. These figures about how much a movie has collected from the success at box office are misleading for a country like India. 3 idiots was the only movie that came close to selling 3 crore tickets in last 30 years. The top 3 Bollywood films by Box Office Gross ever are Mughal-e-Azam, Ganga Jamuna & Sholay and 3 Idiots is at a lousy 36th spot. (as per Box Office Bollywood Gold Standard). Shahrukh Khan’s movies are not even in the top 40. Mr. Bachchan has only 2 movies in top 50 – Sholay and Amar Akbar Anthony and he was not the solo actor in both. Mr. Dilip Kumar comes out as the biggest hero. Most of his films are in the top 20 grossing films. What went wrong was that after 1980 our filmmakers started making really bad movies.

When you call movies like Sholay and Mughal-e-azam, Superhits with collections close to or higher than Rs.1000 Crores, in the same breadth you cannot call movies like Housefull, a hit by any standard. We should not be told how much money, the movie made but instead how many people are actually watching the movie: How many tickets were actually sold. Movies, Television shows and Music in our country are not serving the right content but everybody is in denial mode that nothing is wrong. We are being told numbers which mean nothing: no one can get a sense out of TRP and Box Office Gross that very few people are actually watching even the so called HITS! Nobody will be able to tell you how many viewers are watching a “2.5 TRP rated show” ! Not even the channel people would know except for the strategy and marketing team. The Hindi Speaking market in India is at least 50 crore people out of which only 70 lakhs would be watching a show whose TRPs are 2 or more. In 1992-93, on a Hit series like say Dekh Bhai Dekh: each episode was made between 5.5 or 6 lakhs and unbelievably, the amount spent per episode of a show is the same today as well. After 20 years of inflation & Rupee Devaluation.

Mehak: 

So you think the content as whole is degrading? Not just movies?

Abhigyan:

We all remember Altaf Raja? He sold 27 lakh cassettes of his non-movie album near the end of 1990s and today an artist cannot sell even 2 lakhs. People are paying to get Airtel’s own jingle as ringtone but not Hindi Bollywood music. What can you do when everybody is in denial?

The recent show Satyameva Jayate had received a TRP of 3.0. Apparently Amir Khan has spent 30 crores on marketing and 7 crore per episode. They were trying to reach around 12 million people of India by telecasting the show on Doordarshan apart from Star Network. But this is not enough if they got 3 ratings for the show. It is a complete waste.

Let’s take another brilliant example- UK has a population of 60 million people and its number one show is the Music reality show done by ‘Simon Cowell’ which has around 9-10 million viewers. That’s a whopping 17-18% of the population.

Mehak:

Why these days no “real” blockbuster Movie is coming out of industry?

Abhigyan:

They have forgotten how to make a blockbuster and they have given up. It is like ‘Baniya’ game. Just like a small merchant would not like to make it big, similarly the Indian filmmakers never think of scale. They put 20 crores in a film and getting back 100 crores and this is sufficient for them. Nobody has been able to scale as they are satisfied. The filmmakers are looking at small number of people and at a much smaller universe. We don’t have the reach or the ambition to scale. Nobody is attempting to make it big. We don’t want to grow and we look at everything from the wrong side. A question to the filmmakers – Why do u make a film? Is it because you want to make money or you want people to watch your movie by showing them an amazing story and screenplay? If it is just the money then these filmmakers should have chosen the job of bankers, merchants or something else.

Can we even think of putting Yashraj Productions in comparison to Walt Disney? Can we compare what SRK does in terms of movies in comparison to Tom Cruise?

This year, IPL connected around 20 crore people in one or the other way. IPL alone is more than half of our Bollywood industry in terms of theatrical revenues. This proves that Bollywood is failing massively at attracting audiences to watch it’s movies.

Mehak:

Has Hollywood movies doing extremely good in India affected Bollywood?

Abhigyan:

No they are not doing extremely good but they have started doing well now. It started from the first Spiderman in India which had made the highest collection by a Hollywood film at the time.

Mehak:

Do you think Hollywood will surpass Bollywood in India in upcoming times? If yes, what lessons Bollywood needs to learn?

Abhigyan:

Yes, it can. Distribution system of Bollywood is to be blamed primarily. These are family based distribution systems that need to be changed.

Mehak:

Is there a hope that this pathetic content being delivered continuously can change?

Abhigyan:

Content can change and it is possible. It might change tomorrow or day after tomorrow. It doesn’t take much time/effort to change.

Vicky Donor was a recent good example. If an average film is like Vicky Donor, in quality then it’s a good sign. Paan Singh Tomar is another example of a movie which was not marketed properly but if it had been marketed like Kahani then it could have done better than Kahani.

So here we are throwing some really open questions to our Movie and TV show makers. What do you think of Indians as an audience?
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Analysis on TRPs and GRPs starting this week on iDubba

We at iDubba are always striving to bring some really cool analysis on TV programs and viewership data. In an approach to take it further in that direction we are starting a special section on our blog today which will be authored by Ruchi.

Let us give you a back ground in same context-

TRPs & GRPs – Numbers do Wonders !!

The Target rating point (or TRP) is an audience measurement criterion of rating points that indicates the popularity of a television channel or program. The TRP measure helps advertisers decide which TV channels and programs to place their advertising in.

The TRP is a measure of the purchased points representing an estimate of the component of the target audience within the gross audience. Similar to the gross rating point (GRP), it is measured as the sum of ratings achieved by a specific media vehicle (e.g. TV channel or program) of the target audience reached by an advertisement. For example, if an advertisement appears more than once, reaching the entire gross audience also, the TRP figure is the sum of each individual GRP, multiplied by the estimated target audience in the gross audience.

The TRP and GRP metrics are both critical components for determining the marketing effectiveness of a particular advertisement.

TRP suggests which particular show is on number one position, while, GRP suggests which channel is on number one. There might be just one show of a channel in top 10 shows, but still it could be on number 2 position, as its over-all GRPs are high.

Collection of TV audience measurement data in India

Presently, INTAM (Indian television audience measurement) is the only electronic rating agency functioning in India. INTAM uses two methodologies for calculating TRPs.

The first is frequency monitoring, in which people meters are installed in sample homes. People meters are electronic devices, which continuously record data about the TV channels watched by household members. The ‘people meter’ is an expensive piece of equipment and is currently imported. It reads the frequencies of TV channels, which are later decoded into the name of the channels. INTAM prepares national data on the basis of these sample homes readings. There is a drawback in the technique, as cable operators frequently change the frequencies of channels before sending signals to homes. It may be very misleading to read a channel according to a particular frequency even if the down-linking frequency is same all over India.

The second technique is more reliable and relatively new to India. Via a picture-matching technique, the people meter continuously records a small portion of the picture that is being watched on that particular television set. Along with this, INTAM also records all the channels’ data in the form of the small picture portion. Data collected from the sample homes is later on matched with the main databank to interpret the TV channel name, in order to produce national ratings.

Why are these numbers so ‘important’?

WEDNESDAY!!! The day the Television industry gets its results for their last week’s performance. The day can be termed as terrific or a terrible for any show based on its performance. It makes us realize about the role TRP’s play in the decision making of the show.

The above ratings are a help to many people. Firstly, it gives an idea to the Producers as to how many people watch their shows. Secondly, it defines which slot works best for a particular TV channel. Thirdly, analyzing this information helps advertisers to market their products on the ‘perfect’ timing to hit their target audience. To viewers, these might be just numbers, but to media professionals, these numbers are an integral part. These numbers can actually make or break a show. Channel these days, do not believe in experimenting for a long time. It changes a particular track if the ratings for one week or maximum two weeks are declining. Everybody involved in the making of TV shows are working round the clock to deliver their best and every Wednesday when the ratings are out, few are happy, few are sad. But that’s the way industry functions. If the TRPs increase, there is profit to the channel as well as the producers and if it declines, it’s otherwise.

Don’t mistakenly think ratings are everything. At times, there are shows with high ratings but hardly people around you know about it. And there are shows with not so high ratings, but everybody around you is talking about that show. So, there is a difference between ‘the-most-viewed-show’ and ‘the-most-talked about-show’. According to me, Diya Aur Baati Hum and Bade Acche Laggte Hain, respectively, are the best examples to describe this!

And I’m sure, all the ardent fans of the show would be very curious to know how the show is doing TRP wise. It’s of course good to be updated.

The ratings are never dormant and there are unexpected changes every week. Let us see how the graph changes every week.

Stay tuned, we will bring you weekly analysis on this!!

[Note: This blog is co-authored by Ruchi, who will start writing a series of Blogs on iDubba from today onwards]

Are you bored by Celebrity Endorsements?

Dhoni Selling Engine Oil, Sachin selling Inverters, Virat Kohli selling watches and bikes and so on…The list is endless! As you know there are lot of advertisements that are featuring celebrities and to add to it, they are charging crores for the same. Almost every other product is marketed using celebrities and at times it is gets so confusing that you end up thinking who is promoting what.

The most important thing is that the celebrity should be able to connect with the consumer and in this process celebrities’ credibility also comes into picture. The consumer should have a credible belief that the celebrity would be interested in buying and using the product. But there are also times when celebrities distract attention from the message being conveyed. The best example for this is Katrina Kaif in Slice ad, this ad increases the glam factor but the audience hardly focuses on the product and diverts the entire attention on the actress.

Who can forget advertisements, featuring stars like Tabassum (Prestige pressure cookers), Jalal Agha (Pan Parag), Kapil Dev (Palmolive Shaving Cream) and Sunil Gavaskar (Dinesh Suitings). They were classics and one could easily relate these products with the stars promoting these products. A standard example here is Coke, which, till recently, didn’t use stars at all internationally. But in India it was a first for them. The result was a hit where in we remember Aamir saying “Thanda matlab Coca Cola”.

But there are also times when the product suffers due to the actions, behavior or popularity of a celebrity. Everyone was aware of the fact that Tiger Woods was dropped by Nike as their celebrity brand. And the latest one was Saif Ali Khan with the recent punching episode. So when he says “Have I made it Large” the audience will surely recollect his previous acts (misbehavior). In the recent times the market is flooded with celebrities endorsing many products .

Having a new celebrity every few years doesn’t make sense. Not to forget, today’s consumer is well informed and difficult to impress, and they are only influenced by advertisements that are relevant and provide information. Consumers don’t want to have products pushed at them, even if its from a celebrity. So are you bored by Celebrity Endorsements? Do let us know your favourite brand promoted by a Celebrity 🙂

Happy Buying… oops.. Happy Viewing.

Aamir Khan has a hot shot Resume for Marketing Post

It looks like Aamir is preparing himself for a top class Job offer after his Bollywood Career. Why? Well, his out-of-box marketing strategies must be catching the eyes of top class media honchos and who knows he might be having some offers already. On this Business Blog it makes sense to have a look at some of the aspects of Marketing and relate it to the skills and strategies of Aamir Khan.

Aspect 1: Understanding Market

If Ghajini meant reaching out to all type of Audience and meeting people who are going crazy about Aamir’s looks, ‘3Idiots’ means catching college students who most probably have read “Five Point Someone”.

That’s a very critical lesson from marketing point of view- Start promoting the product from a small group which is able to embrace the ‘idea’ behind the product without actually getting access to real product. Remember what iPhone did?

Continue Reading..

Indian magazine section gets hotter!

9dot9-logo-2008sep18In line with this Blog post I wrote, there is another addition to the rapidly expanding magazine market in India (60 new magazines were launched in India in past one year). 9.9 Media has launched EDU- A monthly magazine costing Rs. 150 and targeting India’s higher education sector.

India’s higher education needs such attention because of some of the unique problems it faces- lack of quality institutes, old policies, reservations, lack of focus for students, lack of knowledge for career growth etc. EDU aims to solve some of these problems through a neutral and reliable platform. They will circulate the first 60-page issue to 5000 leaders in higher education across India.

The magazine will include sections such as Academics, Administration, Technology, Profile, Strategy and Updates from the sector and columns by well known academicians and visionaries. But more than this the real challenge as per me would be to decide on the marketing channel for spreading awareness among target audience.

They should combine internet and direct referral marketing to reach the audience. Since this a niche section and major magazine readers in India are from higher income group (business and technology), it would be a challenge for EDU to make right audience stick to the title.

Michael Jackson’s demise brings some uncalled good news for Hit 95 FM

Well everyone in this world is shocked hearing this news. Michael’s death brings an end to the era of music he started. Everyone is sad at the news and so do the people at Hit 95 FM. Sometime back they started ‘Michael Jackson This Is It Challenge’ with IDEA in which they are planning to choose a Michael fan who can sing like the legend. After the recent demise of the legend himself they have changed the name of the show to ‘The Tribute Concert’.

Suddenly after this sad news they have urged fans across Delhi to pay tribute to Michael jackson. They are playing Michael’s music most of the time to attract audience and on-show calls with them make it more emotional. This has given an uncalled exposure to the show without any additional marketing. They took just one step to help attract audience (change of show title).

The ‘IDEA Michael Jackson –The Tribute Concert’ will happen with the 5 finalists at the Central Mall Gurgaon on this Sunday.

Michael Jackson's demise brings some uncalled good news for Hit 95 FM

Well everyone in this world is shocked hearing this news. Michael’s death brings an end to the era of music he started. Everyone is sad at the news and so do the people at Hit 95 FM. Sometime back they started ‘Michael Jackson This Is It Challenge’ with IDEA in which they are planning to choose a Michael fan who can sing like the legend. After the recent demise of the legend himself they have changed the name of the show to ‘The Tribute Concert’.

Suddenly after this sad news they have urged fans across Delhi to pay tribute to Michael jackson. They are playing Michael’s music most of the time to attract audience and on-show calls with them make it more emotional. This has given an uncalled exposure to the show without any additional marketing. They took just one step to help attract audience (change of show title).

The ‘IDEA Michael Jackson –The Tribute Concert’ will happen with the 5 finalists at the Central Mall Gurgaon on this Sunday.