Analytics can show Bollywood the money

Analytics can show Bollywood the money

English writer Samuel Johnson said, “Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.”

But, how about if there was some help from analytics? Talking about the vibrant world of Bollywood, Ami Shah, Co-founder of IntelliAssist said, “In the world of Bollywood, analytics is limited to few studios, where most of the filmmakers go by ‘gut feeling’.”

IntelliAssist is a Mumbai-based firm that provides social media marketing services.

“Viacom 18, Yash Raj Films, Eros and Universal Studios are some of the studios that have dedicated teams and are working with analytics.  Most of the others, including Balaji Motion Pictures, Prakash Jha Productions, ASA Productions and Enterprises, and Rajshri Productions that are cumulatively producing up to 350–400 films a year are not leveraging analytics like they should,” she said.

Being involved in the marketing side of movie making, she finds that there is no science in how marketing or even distribution is being done.

“They are only fighting for maximum number of screens, they are not optimising the release schedule,” she said.

While a Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan or an Aamir Khan starrer, claims its own demand, how about an Ajay Devgan starrer?, she asks.

FB loses on organic reach

How do you determine the entertainment value of an actor? “If you follow the trend to check which of his movies have worked, you will be surprised to find that... across genre, role, and other such factors, it is his films with Rohit Shetty that have done well. So ideally, he should be charging less for a Rohit Shetty film as against any other. And, this is what analytics will tell you,” she added. 

On marketing, she says, “There is no standardisation in how much is allocated for marketing. For a film like Vicky Donor, the production cost was X and the marketing budget was 2X, and for some films it is less than 10 per cent,”  she said. “In social media marketing, we are the last ones to get money. The perception of social media is that it is free.”

While this was true some time ago when she worked on Facebook to market 1920: Evil Returns, a lot has changed now, she concedes.

“Facebook used to be a social media platform. Now it has become like pay to play. Earlier, I used to do Page-level marketing and my posts would reach everyone on the Page in the order of recency. So I just had to make timely and frequent posts. But now, FB is saying it is not about the recency of the post, but about the value of content to the user, and what this valuable content is — we don’t know. So if I sponsor my content I am able to reach out,” she said. 

“In simple words — the organic reach of Facebook has declined,” she stated.

“I personally prefer Twitter now. It caters to a mass audience, and even if they are not generating content, they are at least consuming content.  And Instagram is also picking up, especially for movies and lifestyle and food.” Maintaining that Facebook, in terms of promoting a film, performs better, “FB is declining while Twitter is picking up,” she adds.

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