Okay, so we have yet another movie reviews startup – WatchItOrNot. Sounds like ‘hot or not‘ of movies and they pitch just right for the Bollywood brigade. Though we have had couple of movie review startups like ReviewGang, ReviewBag before and the good international biggies like Rotten Tomatoes & IMDB are still good at it, but there is definitely a cavity in movie reviews space which possibly Watch-It-Or-Not can fill. The cavity, or hollow of Bollywood.
Watch it or not is designed to handle the mass (read trash) production capacity of Bollywood. It deploys power of opinion polls, crowd-sourcing & reputation management of movies, actors, directors and reviewers to bring out a curated and vetted review of a given movie. Users just need to fit a specific niche of audience and get the juice of reviews.
IMHO reputation management is pertinent for a huge production industry like Bollywood which produces the largest number of movies in a year (worldwide) and yet less than 5 flicks ever make good sense. I mean the story-writing is simply awful, and invariably the viewers have to dumb-down to watch the movie to its logical end. How many times do we ever recommend a Bollywood movie for quality, execution and creativity? Does not most of it goes into the invisible trash can, and be forgotten soon after the launch?
Well, this is what Aamir Khan has to say about the level at which Bollywood works today. Gasp!
And yet many of these movies do well on the box-office. It is strange how this happens, but it surely kind of hints that there are several ‘boxes of audiences’ in India to which movies of different quality and execution suit. Each box does well for a specific movie at any given point of time and they all make money. Or at least most of them say they do. Whatever, it’s complicated, and that’s where Watch it or Not plans pitch in and solve the movie reviews problem.
I really like the way Watch It Or Not is attempting to solve the separation of movie reviews for the fragmented audience. They have an index for everything – ratings of actors, actresses, directors, professionally hired reviewers from the ilk of traditional media, crowd-sourced voting from actual viewers like you and me and a rating for overall gist of the story. Of course this can go to a much deeper level when one starts pointing to cameraman, music director, special effects also, but I guess my expectation to filter Bollywood juice is really high and WatchItOrNot does not yet get there.
For the WION team, my two cents is that quality of reviews & reputed reviewers are going to be the key for your website. Interface, as of now, is quite usual and may be you guys have a long way to go in terms of look & feel, placement of poll elements and perhaps ensure ad cleanliness. If you take this problem seriously, probably there is room to build a classy product ground up too, instead of just using regular widgets from DIGG, WP etc.
What do you think about Watch ItOr Not Pi readers?