Sunday, April 14, 2019

Wondering how to watch Game of Thrones in India? Use Hotstar - Quartz

Wondering how to watch Game of Thrones in India? Use Hotstar - Quartz


Wondering how to watch Game of Thrones in India? Use Hotstar - Quartz

Posted: 13 Apr 2019 01:38 AM PDT

One of the world's most popular television shows is nearing its end. Yet, many Indians are still furiously searching the web for the maiden episode, which aired over eight years ago.

Between January 2018 and March 2019, Google searches for the first episode of HBO's epic fantasy show Game of Thrones (GoT) surpassed all others episodes, according to a study by the US-based online visibility management platform SEMrush.

This is ironic, given the show, which has broken many popularity records worldwide since it debuted in 2011, is nearing an end. GoT's last season will air from April 15 and is being eagerly awaited. The internet is flooded with discussions about how the show will end.

But in India, interest in the latest episode is 44% less than that for the first, SEMrush found.

While the popularity of the first season could possibly be credited to fans who wish to refresh their memory before diving into the last season, Google's search trends reveal otherwise.

What is this thing?

Between January 2018 and March 2019, the most popular search related to the show on Google in India was "what is game of thrones about." Some other popular searches include: "how many episodes in game of thrones season 1" and "how many seasons of game of thrones are there."

Even as Google searches are dominated by those ignorant about the series, there is no dearth of GoT fans in India. From playing the show's theme song in Mumbai's street orchestra to creating localised rendition of the music, GoT followers are going all out ahead of the final season.

So it is no surprise that the top 10 GoT-related searches on Google in India during the 15 months ending March 2019 were from those trying to figure out how to watch the show:

What Indians searched about?
what is game of thrones about
where to watch game of thrones
how many seasons of game of thrones
where can i watch game of thrones
how to watch game of thrones
how many episodes in game of thrones season 1
how to watch game of thrones online
how many seasons of game of thrones are there
which game of thrones character are you
how many episodes of game of thrones

Until 2016, Indians were forced to watch the show by downloading episodes from the internet to circumvent all the cuts made for Indian TV. The good news is that fans in India will get to stream the eighth season on the video streaming platform Hotstar at 6:30 am on April 15—the same time that it airs in the US.

BEYOND LOCAL: Siri, Alexa are dominating online searches, whether retailers like it or not - GuelphToday

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 06:25 AM PDT

 
Sylvain Charlebois, Dalhousie University

Your own voice will likely become the most significant focus for food retailers and restaurants over the next little while. Voice searches are increasingly becoming the norm. A recent study suggests that more than 50 per cent of all online searches will be voice-activated by 2020.

To a lesser extent, grocery shopping is also done through voice activation. Since Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Assistant have entered our world, voice searching has become a game-changer for the food industry.

The main reason is convenience. Short of having our own personal robot, this is the new frontier of affordable personalized assistance. These virtual assistants will offer us advice as well as perform tasks for consumers. They are, of course, the "voices" of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. These companies have been connecting with us for years through many devices, including phones, tablets and even video game consoles.

Consumers now use voice search as they conduct other activities, like driving. Search results generally result in purchases, so for businesses, coming up as a top result of a voice search can be highly profitable.

The same rule applies for the food industry. Voice search assistance will zero in on our awareness of brands, our perceptions, biases and many other things we are subconsciously influenced by. And so the food industry needs to start marketing through apps and websites that are easily readable by virtual assistants.

Cutting through the marketing noise

Voice recognition is really about data and algorithms. It is about connecting with the market in a way few grocers or restaurants have done. After all, we're still receiving grocery flyers every week to sell us food in our mailboxes or newspapers — that is if you still subscribe to one.

Voice assistance allows all of us to cut through all the marketing noise and find what we really want.

The average Canadian consumer is exposed to more than 5,000 advertisements per day, many of them food-related. Food service and retail options are often overlooked by consumers for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws.

Algorithms and data will cut straight through preconceived notions about food choices and will open a world of possibilities for many companies. A recent survey shows that 68 per cent of consumers search by a cuisine or food item rather than by restaurant or franchise name. In other words, voice searches foster and enable curiosity.

What is making most players in the food industry lose sleep is the fact that Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple are tech-savvy and data-centric organizations, more so than companies in the agri-food sector.

Voice assistance is purely an extension of what these tech giants have been offering for years, just without the typing. In fact, research suggests that many consumers would rather talk than type. According to a U.S.-based survey, 30 per cent of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen by the year 2020. This trend can only add to the pressure on grocers and restaurants to comply with a changing marketplace.

Google has been investing heavily in voice-activated searches since 2016. Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are too.

Forget the flyers

This is a field the food industry will need to embrace quickly.

With the rise of voice-enabled assistance, people don't need to view a screen to get an answer, as all the data is captured from websites and web-based data. Mobile-friendly, responsive websites are going to be key.

Since consumers rely on voice assistance and smartphones for most of their voice searches, a fully functional website for a food retailer will be more critical than most of the marketing dollars being spent on antiquated flyers, posters and ads. Instead of thumbing through flyers, many of us could potentially browse through weekly bargains with the help of voice-activated searches.

It's so much more civilized. And even small, local businesses can generate more business if adapting these strategies.

In the end, these changes are all about data, and how we manage and exchange data. Embracing this new reality for the food industry won't be easy, but the cost of doing nothing will be significant.The Conversation

Sylvain Charlebois, Director, Agri-Food Analytics Lab, Professor in Food Distribution and Policy, Dalhousie University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

In weddings, the '90s are back and better than ever - Sumter Item

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 03:00 AM PDT

By MOLLY SPRAYREGEN
Associated Press

From butterfly clips to polka dots, 1990s trends have been making a fashion comeback. Now, as '90s babies increasingly reach average marrying age, these trends are popping up all over the wedding industry as well.

An Etsy 2019 wedding trends report declared '90s nostalgia a top trend of the year, with more than 300,000 searches for both rhinestones and polka dots on the site in the three months before the report's release in February. Etsy has also seen a 14% increase in butterfly clip searches since last year.

Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson says a '90s resurgence doesn't mean we'll suddenly be seeing huge puffy sleeves and oversize hair. Rather, popular '90s trends are being modernized and updated.

"They give some nod to those styles, but they are so much more sophisticated," Johnson says, adding that today's butterfly clips, for example, look more whimsical and romantic than they did in the '90s.

And although wedding-dress sleeves may not be as puffy as they were 25 years ago, statement sleeves are big again. Dresses are breaking from the modern tradition of a sweetheart neckline silhouette, giving brides the opportunity to better express their personal style.

Lauren Kay, deputy editor at The Knot, says she has seen an increase in holographic and iridescent decor, chokers, disposable cameras on tables and '90s music. Jeffra Trumpower, creative director at WeddingWire, cites the return of '90s styles like neon signs, macram and custom jean jackets with monograms or calligraphy on the back.

Los Angeles wedding planner Beth Helmstetter of Beth Helmstetter Events has noticed a return to bridesmaids wearing color block dresses - combining two or more large blocks of bold, typically clashing colors. And Chicago wedding planner Nicole Hensley of Storybook Weddings and Events notes more couples incorporating their favorite '90s snacks into their special days.

"As most of our couples are now in their 30s," Hensley says, "they lived through childhood eating dunkaroos, pop tarts, ice pops and so many other nostalgic treats. It's been so fun sourcing these items for late-night snack stations or having our caterers put a fun twist to pop tarts... or creating an 'adult' alcoholic version of the ice pops!"

Perhaps the most surprising '90s trend that is resurgent both in weddings and beyond is the fanny pack.

A 2018 report by the NPD Group found that fanny packs account for almost 25% of overall growth in the fashion accessories industry. Etsy reported a whopping 62% increase in searches related to "bridal fanny packs" in the three months before its trends report was released.

At bachelorette parties, a bride and her crew might wear bedazzled or glittery fanny packs that say "Bride" and "Squad." Couples also are incorporating more chic, fashionable versions of fanny packs into the wedding itself. These classier versions may be referred to as hip or belt bags. Brides and grooms aren't necessarily wearing them down the aisle, but they are using them at the reception or other wedding events to carry phones and other items.

Johnson sees fanny packs as part of a broader trend toward functionality and reusability. Not only are they handy during the celebration, but fanny packs can be used long after the wedding is over.

Experts agree that couples who want to invoke a little '90s nostalgia into their weddings should do so tastefully and sparingly. Many suggested thinking about no more than one or two motifs from the '90s and putting a more modern spin on them.

"If it's neon fanny packs for example," says Hensley, "take that idea and go a step above! Reinvent the idea. Give fanny packs out as favors filled with a hangover kit for surviving the next morning. Fill it with a mini water bottle, some pain reliever, eye drops and maybe a little 'hair of the dog'!"

In essence, a full-on '90s-themed wedding might be overkill, but including flashes of the decade here and there can make for a beautiful and nostalgia-filled event.

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