MUMBAI: Not many in India know Peter Chernin. But many do know the Colors‘-backed Salman Kan anchored reality TV show Big Boss and NH7 – a music festival that began in Pune and now has additionally made its mark in Bengaluru and Delhi. Well, Chernin’s CA Media group is an investor in Endemol and Only Much Louder, the companies which produce these initiatives.
And now Chernin – whose Peter Chernin group has produced films such as Planet of the Apes and TV shows like New Girl – is all set to take a shot at an innovative social media-based reality showSummer Break that can be watched on youtube.com daily, and followed on twitter, instagram and tumblr .
Summer Break tracks nine normal teens in the summer hols before most of them enter college and is estimated to have a budget of five million dollars, a large part of which is being paid by telecom giant AT&T. The youngkids– like any other – will be taking pix and videos of themselves and each other and drop them in a dropbox account.
A 45 member strong social media team will then curate these on twitter and tumblr almost instantaneously. Simultaneously, a professional TV crew will be filming them as they go about their daily activities to produce a minute long commercial that will make its debut on YouTube daily. Finally, a weekly wrap up episode of about three to five minutes will also be aired on youtube.com.
Summer Break is slated to run for eight weeks, and its short format content is an experiment to track consumption of video content on mobile devices, including phones, tablets, and mini-tablets.
At the time of writing, the official trailer of the series had made its debut on YouTube. And additionally, the social media handle @SummerBreak had managed to ramp up its followers to 100,000 plus.
Our perspective: Clearly, Chernin’s group is onto something good. And it’s not really futuristic; it’s in the now. Kids have their phones – not fingernails - growing out of their fingers, they are sharing videos; pictures – like it’s the only thing that keeps them busy. Clearly, it’s an experiment, but it’s one which has almost all bases covered. Almost 50 per cent of its budget has been kept aside for social media marketing – to build and keep audiences engaged. Now all we have got to see is that the content that is being put up daily and weekly is good enough to get conversations and create a buzz among its viewing audience going along.
Going by the initial feedback, Chernin could well have a winner on his hands and his attempt at targeting viewers to consume video on their mobile devices should make traditional broadcast outlets take a hard look at how they can service the new emerging viewer.