Balaji Telefilms Ltd is a well known name in Indian TV and Film circles. Headed by Ekta Kapoor who is known both for her success with Saas-Bahu TV Sitcoms and her obsession with K letter words is now making its first foray into the digital space. Lauched a few weeks back Hoonur.com(Hoonur stands for ‘Talent’ in Hindi) is a talent platform for singers, dancers, actors and production folks. Think of it as the naukri.com of the film and tv world. Hoonur connects TV/Film aspirants to modeling, casting agencies and film production houses that maybe in the search of talent.
Hoonur provides all the features required for a site like this and has an easy to understand interface. Talented aspirants can post one’s profile i.e. work done, pictures and for singers even audio clips can be uploaded. There are three kinds of listings – Casting and auditions (which is information on various auditions), Profiles (which is talented aspirant profiles) and business listings (which is for businesses that deal in TV and Film production to list themselves).
Two of the features that I really appreciated was the integration with facebook connect which actually makes a lot of sense given the number of filmy junta on facebook and the fact that they have a blog. Currently the registration to this site is free and the site is being marketed via Balaji’s corporate site, facebook and via sms to all those who are models and have approached Balaji in some way or another.
All in all this currently does look like a neutral platform by Balaji to create one of the larger databases of models, actors, singers, dancers and production folks from India. Earlier too there have been attempts made at catering to this market by companies like inmatch.com but it has never really taken off as a online business opportunity. There is ibibo too which continuouslyconducts talent hunts and contests but cannot be termed as a serious platform for aspirants. It remains to be seen how Balaji scales and then monetizes this platform. Im assuming a fee charged to talented aspirants for alerts of auditions and casting opportunities might be the right way to go. Even otherwise given the number of sitcoms and serials Balaji Telefilms produces this platform would anyways be beneficial to them in scouting fresh talent for their own needs.