india talent

Google and FremantleMedia Asia have partnered to let fans of shows like Idols, Got Talent and The X Factor vote for people they support across Asia from Google Search on mobile, tablet or the computer. The feature will be live for 11 FremantleMedia talent shows in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand across regions. Fans will still be able to vote via SMS or in-app voting. The companies will launch a ‘how to’ video with the tool.

As of now, the partnership has started with Vietnam’s Got Talent which was launched last month. Google says that a trial of Google Search voting took place for The X Factor Indonesia last year and claims that 97% of votes were made through the search engine, while the overall average number of votes grew 71% year on year per episode.

Digital talent hunt: In March 2015, FremantleMedia partnered with mobile video streaming service ZengaTV and multichannel network One Digital Entertainment announcing ‘India’s Digital Superstar’, a digital talent hunt. The audience would judge the next big digital star across 14 weeks and mentors included Anu Malik, Vishal Dadlani and Salim Merchant.

Fremantle Media produced Got Talent franchise operates in 69 countries, Idols in 55 and The X Factor in 52. The company operates in 31 countries and claims to produce over 10,000 hours of programming yearly, with 350 programs worldwide. Bertelsmann owns 75.1% in Fremantle Media.

MediaNama’s take: TV has driven a lot of mobile usage through voting and other means to engage audiences. However, the online medium is free for engagement for users, where they can also have higher interactivity. The show is likely to gather some incidental viewers who might stumble upon the voting while searching for these shows. This partnership makes sense for Google which has been making search more relevant, also providing answers instead of blue links to keep users on the platform. Recent examples of this include Google Now cards, flight ticket search integration, cabs on Maps etc.

(Related read: On CCI on Google: the problem is when an intermediary also provides content & services)

Google’s recent developments:

– Last month, Google released a Google Travel Trends Report which stated that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in comparison to 36% growth in generic budget hotel queries YOY on the basis of international search queries from January to September 2015. Overall queries for accommodations grew at 37% YOY.

– In the same month, Google Maps, which integrated Uber into its app last year, added Ola Cabs as the second taxi operator in India to list on the platform. Other than this, Google added new providers in four more countries; 99Taxis in Brazil, Hailo in the UK & Spain, mytaxi in Germany & Spain and Gett in the UK.

– WhatsApp, YouTube, Google, Facebook, Gmail, Messenger, UC Browser, Google+, SHAREit and Google Maps, were the 10 most used apps by Indians in December 2015, according to Jana, a US based tech company.

– In February, Google announced that it would be blocking websites which used deceptive content like fake download buttons that appear right next to the real download button for the desktop version of Chrome.

– In the same month, Amit Singhal, Google’s head of ranking team, Google Fellow and the person responsible for Google’s search algorithms left the company. He completed 15 years at Google this year.

Also read: Alphabet (Google) reports $4.92B net profit on lower ad costs; Other Bets revenues at $448M