Nobody’s watching is a TV programme that was never aired. When refused by all the major networks, its creator, Bill Lawrence made it available on YouTube in June, 2006. Within two weeks of uploading it, the 9-minute video was viewed more than 300,000 times and at the time of writing the story, the views totalled 1,423,784. The network which had ridiculed Lawrence obviously went back to him. Moral of the story? Never underestimate the power of social media. Perhaps, to leverage this platform, media solutions company Pixelkraft, for the first time, has produced an English sitcom series for Rediff iShare. The short film series titled ‘Ram & Ria’ went live on January 10 and has already garnered around 1,05,000 views within the first two weeks. “Through the series, we want to give more variety to the users who are transcending to the third screen. We were looking for this kind of content for long,” says Manish Agarwal, Vice President of Marketing, Rediff.com.
Conceptualised and produced by Chennai-based Pixelkraft, the series features the life and dilemmas of a typical south Indian man and his Mumbaikar wife in Chennai. The comic short series are 2:30 to 3-minute long. While 15 episodes have already been uploaded, PixelKraft has another 25 ready with it. The series is also available on ramandria.tv. Siddharth Kumar, Creative Director of Ram & Ria series, believes that the Indian audience is ready for this kind of content. “The attention span of youth these days is quite limited and hence the duration. Also, there is a dearth of contemporary content relevant to the internet users,” he says.
While Manish says Rediff is talking to other production houses for more contextual content, the aim, he says, is to attract more users. “It is just an experiment for us and the monetisation aspect will obviously come later,” adds Siddharth. Will iShare find an Indian Google? Wait and watch.
— Pallavi Srivastava