Without much foreplay, I would cut to the chase. I have enumerated five positive and five negative points to summarize what I like and dislike about AIB, a new-age media collective.
- AIB offers the Indian audiences a new and different genre of content which was uncommon and rare in the Indian Media Industry hitherto a couple of years back. It is setting a trend different from the what the Indian mainstream channels have been bloated with, like stereotypical and generic daily soaps and reality TV shows bringing forth short, innovative and relatable real-life inspired productions like Honest College Placements, Honest Weddings, Honest Restaurants et cetera.
- AIB has repeatedly contributed towards creating awareness on serious and social issues that our society has largely grown used to. In their videos, they have oft-repeatedly addressed several important subjects like misogyny, nepotism, sexism in Bollywood and even stereotypical subjects as in the video ‘A woman’s besties.’ And, they do it armed with a strong arsenal of wit, pun, satire and sarcasm in their videos.
- AIB with its initiatives like Writer’s Residency Program is helping aspiring and potential writers with a free six-month training program, with interactions and placement among the industry experts, in Bollywood and Indian Media Houses. All of that, with all expenses paid by AIB for ten short-listed candidates! In this manner, they are supporting and nurturing hidden but talented people which otherwise would have found it way tougher to enter the industry, or maybe would have never entered the industry at all.
- AIB is an unconventional upstart media platform with four people from disparate backgrounds coming together to follow and build a sound career around their passion- Writing and filmmaking. These people act as a great deal of inspiration for other people who have a passion dying in them, while they are stuck with some uninspiring jobs, for the mere sake of money and fears of what their family and society would think of them.
- AIB acts as a living example of a new emerging business model based on providing content on alternate media sources like YouTube or online partners like Amazon Prime and Netflix et cetera. It is, therefore, a nascent yet one of the most experienced companies in the domain, thus strengthening the prospects for a potential market in an Industry which was earlier only dominated by big and mostly traditional producers like Yash Raj, Bhat or Balaji Telefilms et cetera.
- AIB’s content has been largely centered around the lives and thought processes of educated upper and middle-class Indian youth. Owing to this it has failed in its repeated attempts to create viable and successful TV shows (as in case of ‘On Air with AIB’) for masses which are still not as educated or don’t relate or believe in the intent with which a certain pun is created. Thus, AIB is detached from a major proportion of Indian audiences and this limits their potential in the present day.
- AIB’s content is easily accessible to kids on the Internet, for whom certain portions on almost all of their videos can be inappropriate at times. In such cases, AIB’s videos leave deleterious impressions on the kids, which impact the way they view the society and its day to day affairs. This may act as a positive in certain cases, but exposure to certain types of content at an early age can prove grave to their ideal upbringing, as in case of overt use of profanity, consumption of alcohol or smoking et cetera.
- Ever since its inception, AIB has been known to have the propensity to create certain videos or content which may be sensitive to a significant section of the society. Or, content for which the Indian society is not yet matured and open enough. Such instances have caused unnecessary protests, disorder and chaos in the past as in the case of its Knockout Roast starring Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, and Karan Johar. I personally was all in for the Roast. But, the Indian society is not prepped up for it, and that’s a reality which we are all well aware of.
- Owing to lack of diverse opinions, AIB’s videos sometimes end up exaggerating or over-emphasizing certain issues in their videos which eventually can virulently impact the way people process that information. The manner in which they choose to address a particular subject/issue has a deep impact on the way viewers perceive the message or form his/her opinions pertinent to those issues. Thus, better care has to be taken by them on how to better present their ideas on certain issues.
- AIB has such a strong network in the Indian stand-up comedy circuit that they easily get established stand-up comics like Zakir Khan, Varun Thakur or Rahul Subramanian et al to act in their videos in place of promoting and providing a platform of opportunity to new acting talents of which there is no dearth in the Industry. That would equip AIB with a diverse talent bank, and also help the talented but unnoticed actors get a chance to showcase their performance to the Industry, and thus bring in more of outsiders into the Industry.
All in all, they are going great, and I hope they are only going to get better with time, as they have in the past. It’s an evolving business where things are changing pretty fast. And, I think they have done a fairly decent job in the manner in which they have diversified and expanded their content. I wish them to keep leading this newly growing industry, bringing in more of outsider talent into the industry, while acting as the big supporting banner which unites them all. Bliss!