The future of TV: Big Data in India

The figures are mind boggling. With more than 1.2 billion people that are socially connected to an Indian TV-show, Big Data is showing how the future of TV will look like.

Satyamev Jayate, one of India’s highest-rated television shows, is using data as a way to effect meaningful change. The show’s producers are aggregating and analyzing the millions of messages they receive on controversial issues to do everything from planning future episodes to pushing for political change.

Speak up, the world is listening
A wealth of unstructured responses is coming in from a variety of sources such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, website comments, SMS polls, and phone voice messages. This data is being analysed and delivered by Persistent Systems to the Satyamev Jayate team at Star India and Aamir Khan Productions in real time to understand the impact the show has at a governmental, social and individual level. A content filtering, ranking and tagging system (CFRTS) has been custom developed for the data analysis of Satyamev Jayate. The result is a cluster-based analysis along with trend, demographics and sentiment analysis for each message


All this feedback has an impact, both on the show itself and on India. Satyamev Jayate’s voting process, in particular, has yielded some impressive results. After the first episode about female feticide, or the selective abortion of female fetuses, 99.8 percent of viewers said they agreed with the idea of a fast-track court to prosecute doctors who perform such operations. When Khan presented the results to the Indian government, officials agreed almost immediately to amend the court system accordingly.

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About Menno van Doorn

Menno van Doorn is Director of the Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT) in the Netherlands. He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 17 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored five books on the impact of new technology on business and society. Awards: IT Researcher of the Year in the Netherlands.

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