IndiaKaHero: Scaling online talent contests.

India Ka Hero is trying to ride the popularity of TV reality contests and taking it online. It has four talent contests and it is offering prizes in each contest. Users will vote for each entry and they will select a winner based on these votes. Votes can be casted only by registered users and this is how they are trying to prevent spamming. These contest has a definite end and I don’t know if IKH plans to stick around after that. A similar online contest (bunkd) ended after a lot of buzz and hype. Question is if IKH wants it to be more than just this one contest. I will assume that IKH wants to create a platform for online talent contests. IKH wants to create a brand advertising channel where brands can hosts online contest to promote their products. A good example would be Lego sponsoring most creative Lego brick arrangement concept online.

Online/offline contests that use voting system are generally based on “wisdom of crowds” principle where we trust individual votes to select the winner instead of a group of elected judges. There are lot of online sites and variants that work in similar area. Two that I would like to call out most similar to IKH are contest2win (India focused) and bix (yahoo owned)

Why do I think IKH should not become another contest2win? I have been thinking about why I couldn’t have simply created an online singing contest on contest2win. Do I get a share of ad-revenue for traffic generated to contest2win site ? There have been lots of sites that have come and gone using online voting concepts. There are lots of rating sites to rate everything you can imagine. But if IKH has to make a mark, it should not follow the same path. It should be a true online talent contest. It should try to bring more and more factors of TV reality concepts online with interactive experience that web can only provide. I would let users create talent contests and make revenue out of it. Just like a TV channel, if your show/contest TRP (in our case it will be votes & traffic) sky rockets, you make money along with a cut to IKH. To really innovate in this space, one would think about factors that make reality TV contest so sticky. Multiple rounds eliminating entries after every round. To be able to capture/attach emotions with every elimination. Get real prizes / career break for contest winners. Do real life events to map to online contest deadlines. Goes w/o saying this would require funding and creating thinking.

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