Hollywood vs Bollywood

It's always fun to speculate how the two compare - at least in public consciousness, if not in global box office receipts. Consequently, the recent announcement of Google Insight for Search, provides a wonderful tool for tracking mindshare. By aggregating and presenting search data from over the years, Google has provided the best example yet of its ability to be our collective database of intentions. So then, what are the trends for searches, direct and related, for "Hollywood" vs "Bollywood"? Culling data from Google Insight (bollywood, hollywood, hollywood vs bollywood), we get the following data nuggets. First, an overall comparison of search volume since 2004:

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Hollywood is clearly the dominant leader worldwide. However, if you look at the overall search trends plotted year by year, an interesting picture emerges (red for Bollywood, blue for Hollywood):

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Search volume for Hollywood has essentially oscillated in a single band - there's no discernible trend upwards. However, Bollywood related searches, while less than half the Hollywood volume, seem to be growing. Perhaps this could be due to the increased connectivity in the subcontinent. As more people come online, their preferences correspondingly skew the search volume.

More data: here's the regional breakdown of search volume. First, Bollywood:

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Not too many surprises here: the searches tend to be clustered in the subcontinent, as you'd expect. However, there's interest in Europe, Canada, Australia and USA. Brazil from South America caught me by surprise, however.

Here's the regional breakdown for Hollywood:

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More coverage on the map, obviously. However, I wasn't prepared for the extensive degree of interest emanating from the subcontinent. Actually, if you list the countries in order of interest, a startling picture emerges. First, Bollywood:

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I was not prepared for Pakistan and Fiji heading the list above India. Clearly, Google's measure of interest is not by search volume only, rather it's normalized by population. Still, it's odd to see India's subcontinental neighbor more obsessed by Bollywood than itself. India's remaining neighbors and Afganisthan form the remainder of the top ten. Tanzania's presence is rather a surprise too. Moving on, what's the countrywide breakdown for Hollywood?

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I was stunned to see Pakistan head this list too followed by Nepal, India and Bangladesh. The US was fifth! I didn't realize the extent of entertainment obsession in the subcontinent, particularly Pakistan. No wonder Hollywood is so interested in making inroads into the subcontinental market. The phrase "get a life" comes to mind, but hey, I am tracking the compulsion, so where does that leave me? :-)

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- August 7, 2008 10:27 PM // Bollywood , Technology