Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Nickelodeon India Plans 200+ Hours of Original Content Over the Coming Year in Aggressive Content Strategy

Nickelodeon plans 200+ hours of original content in aggressive content strategy

Nickelodeon announces its 8th indigenous show with “Golmaal Jr.” on SONIC


Kids are the most dynamic and versatile audience and entertaining them is no mean feat. Nickelodeon, India’s leading kids’ entertainment franchise has been at the forefront of engaging kids through bringing to life iconic characters like Motu Patlu, Shiva and Rudra amongst others, thereby emerging as the No.1 franchise in reach and engagement in the category. Post the resounding success of 7 Intellectual Properties (IPs), the franchise is all set to launch the 8th Indigenous IP, Golmaal Jr. on Sonic!

Bolstering the brand’s content portfolio, Golmaal Jr. on-boards kids on a journey of endless fun, laughter and Golmaal. Produced by Nickelodeon and created by Reliance Animation and Rohit Shetty Picturez the 8th IP of the franchise will recreate the magic of the iconic movies through a fun animated series that will entertain kids starting Monday 13th May 2019 at 13:30 on Sonic.

Based on one of the most popular movie franchises of Hindi Cinema – Golmaal, this show brings to life a heady mix of slice-of-life friendship, relatable characters, humor and loads fun – all rolled into an enthralling joyride. Golmaal Jr. follows the fun face-off between two groups helmed by Gopal and Madhav respectively. Together, they are fun, chaotic, mischievous and are sure to entertain and engage kids.


Nickelodeon has always identified white spaces and launched characters that are ground breaking. Each of the local home-grown Nicktoons from Pakdam Pakdai, India’s first chase comedy, Motu Patlu – the only adult protagonist in the kids’ animation category, Shiva, India’s whiz kid, Gattu Battu, India’s first animated detective series, and Rudra Boom Chik Chik Boom – India’s first Magictoon have all introduced kids to new genres of entertainment. With the launch of Golmaal Jr., the Nickelodeon franchise will set into motion the aggressive content strategy for the year. With over 500 hours of content the franchise today has the largest, immersive and the most versatile local content library in the category. The coming year will see the further scaling of the content library with over 200 + hours of content, expected to be added through shows as well as made for television movies.

Speaking about the success of the home-grown characters, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head – Hindi Mass Entertainment and the Kids TV Network at Viacom18 said, “Understanding of kids, their choices and their diverse entertainment needs has been central to Nickelodeon. We have hence always introduced characters that are relatable, engaging and clutter breaking. The new show Golmaal Jr. is set to bring further diversity and scale to the wide content library of Nickelodeon.”

She further added that “Going forward, we will continue to enthrall kids with great stories and characters and maximize ROI so that we can introduce kids to more such immersive and engaging content experiences.”

Speaking about the 8th IP launch of the Nickelodeon franchise, Anu Sikka, Head – Content, Kids Entertainment Cluster, Viacom18 said, “Bollywood is an important part of every Indian kids’ life and they have always loved films and always adored these characters. Golmaal has been a very successful franchise, much loved by kids and the animated series Golmaal Junior with its unique take on fun, friendship and humor is sure to get the same patronage and love from our young fans. The addition of Golmaal Jr. will bring further depth and repertoire to our squad of indigenous Nicktoons.”

Speaking about the Golmaal franchise, filmmaker and Golmaal movie director Rohit Shetty said, “Golmaal franchise is very close to my heart. The film has already been popular amongst the family audience and new PRANK GANG- Gopal, Madhav, Laxman and Lucky are all set to entertain children on Sonic. The concept of Golmaal Jr. had been in place for a while and I’m very excited about the partnership with Nickelodeon, to bring this high decibel concept and show to life. Each character and their traits are so carefully crafted that I’m confident kids will love the Golmaal Jr. Prank Gang.”

Commenting on the Golmaal series, Shibasish Sarkar, Group CEO, Reliance Entertainment said, “Golmaal is extremely popular with kids and extending the franchise through a special animated series for kids was a great idea to increase affinity for brand Golmaal. Nickelodeon franchise being the category leader enjoying a lot of love from children was hence the ideal partner to bring this iconic brand to life for kids.”


The show’s launch will be supported by a dynamic 360 marketing and communication plan which will include an aggressive TV plan, within the Viacom18 network and outside the network. A high decibel outdoor plan along with mall visibility is sure to capture eyeballs across the country. Fun photo opportunities with the iconic Golmaal tandem bike and audio standees at multiplexes playing the catchy Golmaal title track is sure to break the clutter.

There are various innovations lined up on the digital front, starting with the innovative YouTube unskippable ad that is a category first. There would be a large influencer campaign reaching out to the digital audience. Keeping in mind the sensibility of the social media natives, a whacky challenge has been devised, #GolmaalJrChallenge where kids would be asked to replicate the popular Golmaal dance step!

Golmaal Jr. premieres Monday 13th May 2019, airing daily at 1:30pm on Nickelodeon Sonic!

In additional news, Nickelodeon India has relaunched their official Sonic Gang website, https://www.sonicgang.com, with a brand-new look!

From Adage India:

We Want Sonic to be the 2nd Leader Channel, So that Nick and Sonic Together Can Dominate the Network Share in the Genre: Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Viacom18

Highlights:

- To launch 200+ hours of original animated content in the coming fiscal
- About 20% of the viewership on Sonic comes from Shiva. It is in the top 10 characters of the Small Wonder study of Ormax
- Nickelodeon gets 35% of its viewership from young parents, which also helps in driving advertisers for the channels.
- Nickelodeon have witnessed a 14% increase in the toplines for the cluster

As the summer is in full throttle and kids are home enjoying vacations, Nickelodeon, the kids' cluster of Viacom 18, has announced the launch of its eighth local IP - Golmaal Jr, to be telecast on Sonic. For the past couple of years, the cluster has been putting a lot of weight on Sonic - its second channel in the kids’ space. Nick, the flagship kids channel of the network, is already leading the genre for over three years now. The focus is now on Sonic.

About two years ago, the network shifted its high performing IP, Shiva, on Sonic. Now, the new IP Golmaal Jr will be telecast on Sonic, starting May 13 at 1:30 PM.

Nickelodeon intends to scale its content library by 200 hours of content, adding to the existing 500 hours of programming, through shows and movies. Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment and the Kids TV Network at Viacom18, said, “We have always introduced characters that are relatable, engaging and clutter breaking. The new show Golmaal Jr. is set to bring further diversity and scale to the wide content library of Nickelodeon.”

The kids' network has been trying to enter different sub-genres of content and fill in the gaps. Speaking about why the new show is being launched on Sonic and not Nick - the flagship channel in the cluster, Jaipuria said, “Nick has been stabilised, it has 20% share in the genre. We want Sonic to be the second leader channel in the genre and to turn all eyeballs towards it, we are putting newer content there so that together, the two channels dominate the network share in the genre.”

The characters of the show belong to Rohit Shetty, who owns the Golmaal franchise for the movies too. Reliance is the production house, while Nickelodeon owns the IP for everything that they create.

Speaking about how has Shiva done on Sonic and whether the viewership has suffered after taking it off the flagship channel, Jaipuria said, “About 20% of the viewership on Sonic comes from Shiva. It is in the top 10 characters of the Small Wonder study of Ormax. Six out of the top 10 characters are from the Nickelodeon cluster of channels.”

About Ads and Audience

Golmaal has had four movies, while the fifth is expected to be released soon. Speaking about the viewership expectations, Jaipuria said, “It’s not just a kids franchise, but a lot of adults also love the Golmaal franchise, so, I expect this to garner a lot of co-viewing for us. The movies have been adapted for children and hence, it is a safe environment. With this, our core TG would be seven-years-old and above.”

The under-indexation of the genre has always been a point of concern for the broadcast players. Even right now, for an 11% contribution to the viewership, the genre garners merely 2% of AdEx. Speaking about the need to grow this, Jaipuria added, “We have witnessed a 14% increase in the toplines for the cluster. Yes, there is a disparity between viewership generated, versus advertising revenues, but the pester power is growing and the trajectory is upwards. Nickelodeon gets 35% of its viewership from young parents, which also helps in driving advertisers for the channels.”

The cluster doesn’t have sponsors for individual shows, but it is working with a lot of brands on product licensing, sponsoring movies, school contact programs, Kids Choice Awards (KCA), along with the regular TV advertising.

The network launched Rudra, around the same time of the year in 2018. Vouching for its success, Jaipuria told that Rudra and Motu Patlu have been fighting for the No. 1 and 2 shows in the category for the whole year. So, Rudra has grown significantly well for the channel.

Now that Jaipuria has been given a larger portfolio that also includes the Hindi mass channels of the network, she has some learnings to point out. “A lot of learning has come from what the family is watching and the synergies are better, with a lot of cross-pollination between the Hindi GECs and kids cluster,” she shared.

Creators’ speak on Golmaal Jr.

The show is produced by Nickelodeon and created by Reliance Animation and Rohit Shetty Picturez, aimed to recreate the magic of the iconic movies through a fun animated series.

Based on one of the most popular movie franchises of Hindi Cinema – Golmaal, this show brings to life a heady mix of slice-of-life friendship, relatable characters, humour and loads fun – all rolled into an enthralling joyride.

Rohit Shetty said, “Golmaal franchise is very close to my heart. The film has already been popular amongst the family audience and new prank gang Gopal, Madhav, Laxman and Lucky are all set to entertain children on Sonic. Each character and their traits are so carefully crafted that I’m confident kids will love the Golmaal Jr Prank Gang.”

Shibasish Sarkar, Group CEO, Reliance Entertainment, said, “Golmaal is extremely popular with kids and extending the franchise through a special animated series for kids was a great idea to increase affinity for brand Golmaal. Nickelodeon franchise being the category leader enjoying a lot of love from children was hence the ideal partner to bring this iconic brand to life for kids.”

Anu Sikka, Head, Content, Kids Entertainment Cluster, Viacom18, said, “Bollywood is an important part of every Indian kids’ life and they have always loved films and adored these characters. Golmaal has been a very successful franchise, much loved by kids and the animated series Golmaal Jr. with its unique take on fun, friendship and humour are sure to get the same patronage and love from our young fans. The addition of Golmaal Jr. will bring further depth and repertoire to our squad of indigenous Nicktoons.”

The Marketing Stunt

The new show’s launch will be supported by a dynamic 360-degree marketing and communication plan which will include an aggressive TV plan, within the Viacom18 network (regional channels and roadblocks) and outside the network. A high decibel outdoor plan along with mall visibility is sure to capture eyeballs across the country. The network is innovating, in terms of audio standees in malls, along with the fun photo opportunities with the iconic Golmaal bike and audio standees at multiplexes playing the catchy Golmaal title track. Also in store are partnerships with gaming zones. Cinema is also a crucial part of the plan, considering a lot of interesting launches in the coming months. The network has partnered with Fever for radio pranks, while influencers and mommy bloggers will soon be reviewing the show for their communities.

There are various innovations lined up on the digital front, starting with the innovative YouTube unskippable ad that is a category first. There would be a large influencer campaign reaching out to the digital audience. Keeping in mind the sensibility of the social media natives, a whacky challenge has been devised, #GolmaalJrChallenge where kids would be asked to replicate the popular Golmaal dance step!

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From Indian Television Dot Com:

Viacom18's Nina Jaipuria on Nick's success & breathing new life into Sonic

Nickelodeon’s top-line has grown by 14%, Jaipuria said.

MUMBAI: After installing Nickelodeon at the top of the viewership throne, the band of programmers at Viacom18's kids' cluster now aim to fuel Sonic's rise.

Viacom18 head – Hindi mass entertainment and the kids TV network Nina Elavia Jaipuria zeroed in on two reasons behind Sonic's slide - competition from the likes of Sony and Discovery and headwinds in the distribution value chain.

"Nickelodeon got through (during new tariff order implementation) because it was the number one channel and had a great pull from the viewers as well," she added.

Viacom18's top executives have now rolled up their sleeves in order to push Sonic up the viewership ratings charts. Among the high-profile initiatives the company has taken up is the launch of its 8th indigenous IP “Golmaal Jr”

Produced by Nickelodeon and created by Reliance Animation and Rohit Shetty Picturez, the 8th IP of the franchise will recreate the magic of the movies through a fun animated series starting May 13 at 1:30 pm on Sonic.

The show’s launch will be supported by a 360 marketing and communication plan which will include an aggressive TV plan, within the Viacom18 network and outside the network on channels like Star Plus and Mastiii.

While Sonic’s performance is a cause for worry, Nickelodeon, however, has provided the company plenty of cheer.

“We have been in the number one position for five years in a row. Nickelodeon leads with a fairly decent margin for the full year of 2018-2019. So, from the market share perspective, we are the leaders, not just in viewership share, but also in revenues,” said Jaipuria.

While the company's primary focus now is to propel Sonic into the top three channels in its genre, Jaipuria has made it clear to her team to not take its foot off the pedal when it comes to Nick.

“So the effort is to sustain Nick’s number 1 position and grow Sonic. We are not just looking at it from the viewership perspective but also from the monetisation standpoint,” she explained.

Providing further evidence of Nickelodeon’s surge, Jaipuria revealed that the channel’s top-line had grown by 14 per cent.

“As I have said, animation is an expensive investment to be in and it makes more sense for us to maximise our top-lines which also enhances our bottom-line. We have also grown our EBITDA year-on-year. We are one of the most profitable businesses for Viacom18,” she said.

The channel not only leads in terms of viewership share but also revenues. The broadcaster’s power ratio of 1+ validates the claim, said Jaipuria.

Citing reasons of why advertisers love the brand, the senior media executive pointed out that the channel has worked with them to add value via product integration, product and promo licensing among other things.

“Nickelodeon reaches 44 million children and that is why we have these many advertisers. We have a good mix with kids' advertisers like Britannia, Parle and among others, apart from them, we also have advertisers like banks, insurance, FMCG, consumer durables etc. There’s also one more reason why advertisers are with us because 35 per cent of viewership comes from 22-40 year group, which usually is young parents,” she added.

Nickelodeon currently has Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada language feeds. Going forward, it plans to add four more language feeds in the year. “We will look at HSM and might also add the Malayalam language to our bouquet," Jaipuria stated.

She also highlighted the fact that kids’ TV has grown despite the fragmentation as well as attempts by GECs and OTT platforms to woo the kids. According to Jaipuria, last year, the time spent on the kids’ category was an hour and four minutes, which has now increased to an hour and twelve minutes.

Apart from offering over 200 hours of content in the summer, the channel will air all-new episodes for its existing shows in an attempt to become the one-stop entertainment destination for kids. Nickelodeon is likely up its investment in a bid to draw more kids to the television screens with some high-quality programming.

“Rs 30 lakh investment for an episode and a few above that, so you can multiply it to the hours of content and you’ll know how much we have been investing to produce content. We will be launching all-new episodes of every show,” Jaipuria concluded.

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From Exchange4media:

Kids genre drawing banks, auto, FMCG advertisers too: Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Viacom18

Jaipuria, Head – Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network at Viacom18, talks about the launch of Nickelodeon's 8th IP 'Golmaal Jr', to be aired on Sonic from today, the NTO's effect and more

Nickelodeon, which recently launched its 8th IP ‘Golmaal Jr’ for Sonic, has seen a 14 per cent rise in the top line, says Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head – Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network at Viacom18. Speaking about the franchise’s growth in the last couple of years, Jaipuria said the franchise has set a target of achieving 200+ hours of content for FY 2019-20.

“We are number one for the fifth year in a row. Nickelodeon led the pack with a fairly decent margin in 2018-19. From the market share perspective too, we are the leaders. We are not just the leader in terms of viewership but in revenue as well. That’s a good proposition for me this year because there were a lot of headwinds. The economy was a little slow to begin with and then of course we got hit by the NTO. Despite having a year like that, Nickelodeon had a 14 per cent rise in the top line. We have grown our EBITDA year on year. We are one of the most profitable businesses for Viacom 18. But more importantly, as we better our ROI, it helps us to put our investment back in the content. We are also one of the few players in the market whose revenue share is higher than the market share. So our power ratio is actually 1+.”

Speaking about the advertisers’ interest in the genre, Jaipuria said, “Apart from the usual suspect advertiser, 50+ other advertisers, banks, auto, FMCG are also joining in. It shows how pester power is moving. There’s one more reason for that - 35% of our viewership is in the 22-40 age group.”

Elaborating on the channel’s content, she said, “Nine out of 10 kids want to watch animation. That’s why 95 per cent of content in this category is animation. Last year, kids’ time spend on the category was an hour and four minutes and this year it is an hour and 12 minutes. Despite the fragmentation, all GECs trying to woo away the kids, the category has only grown.”

But this year, besides keeping Nickelodeon in the leadership position, the franchise wants to make sure Sonic gets bigger. That is also one of the reasons why ‘Golmaal Jr’ was launched on Sonic.

“Nick has been number 1 for five years and recently, we were at 20 per cent market share. After this, we will have to hit the moon. Rather than over-leveraging one platform, it is best to start creating a second strong channel which will help us not just from the viewership perspective but from the monetisation side too. Sonic has been ailing because of competition from Discover and Sony YAY! And then there is the whole distribution problem that Sonic had to deal with. Nickelodeon got through as it was number 1 and there was lot of pull for the channel.”

The network is planning to promote the show in a big way with promotions on channels outside the Viacom 18 network as well. “We are going outside Viacom 18 network so that we can get some of the non-Viacom 18 viewers as well. We are looking at Star Plus, 9xM and Masti,” Jaipuria revealed.

There will be promotions on the network’s channels, in-show integrations, branding in malls and transit media marketing too, she said. The franchise will also get into influencer marketing with mommy bloggers. They, along with a few, kids will get to review the show. On the digital front, there is the innovative YouTube unskippable ad that is a category first.
Jaipuria also shed some light on how TRAI’s NTO order impacted the channels and the advertisers. “It is still a blackhole. We still don’t have any subscriber report to tell us how the channel has been accepted. From the ratings perspective, we are pretty much sure we are in all the homes where kids have been already watching us. While the pecking order of the other competitors has changed, Nick and Sonic have actually improved. If I were to show the last few weeks’ data, Sonic is already at number 4.

“We did have a bad quarter because of NTO. Advertisers weren’t clear about what would be the reach of the channels. We are still not clear what is going on but we have a sense. As a franchise, we are trying to over-leverage our vacations. Therefore, if we get April-May-June and October-November-December right, we are pretty much home.”

Nickelodeon also hopes to increase the language feed count from four to 8 languages this fiscal which will be mostly be HSM languages and Malayalam.

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From ET BrandEquity:

Viacom18 goes bullish on its three kids channels - Nick, Nick Jr and Sonic

The network plans to push of Sonic to number third-fourth place, as main channel Nickelodeon will hold on to its prime position

Viacom18, the 51:49 joint-venture between Network18 and Viacom Inc, plans to focus on improving the ratings of its second rung kids channel - Sonic and third rung kids channel - Nick Jr, in an effort to increase its revenues, as it’s flagship kids channel, Nickelodeon (Nick) will continue to compete to remain the number one channel, in the genre.

“While Nickelodeon will have to work towards maintaining the number one position, Sonic will have to play catch up, to grab either the third or fourth position. As a franchise we are looking at growing all the smaller flanking brands versus the mother brand sustains its leadership,” Nina Elavia Jaipuria, head - Hindi mass entertainment and the kids TV network, Viacom18.

According to Network18’s earnings release for the fourth quarter FY19, Nick continues to be the number one channel in the kids genre, with 18.2% share in the viewership pie. Between Nick, Sonic and Nick Jr, the kids portfolio commandes a 26.5% market-share.

Further the network plans to bolster kids content across the three channel. Original animated content across the three channel will increase by 36.6% to 205 hours in FY20, from 105 hours in FY19. It also plans to add four new regional feeds for Nick including one in Malayalam and the rest in Hindi speaking markets. Nick on standard-definition is currently aired in four languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Nick HD is aired in English. As for Sonic, the network launching a new animated show Golmaal Jr. from May 13.

According to Jaipuria Nickelodeon is monetising the regional feeds with regional advertisers via geo targeting through Amagi. “When I started to work on this category, kids as a genre had 7%-9% share in the total viewership pie. However the share in advertisement pie was under 1%. We have moved the needle and now it is around 2%-3%,”she explained.

As per Ficci-EY 2019, while the total advertising share on TV is expected to reach Rs 28,000 crore (exclusive of GST) in CY2019, of this kids channels’ contribution would be around Rs 800 crore. According to industry estimates, a 10 second ad spot on a kids channel costs anywhere in the range of Rs 3,500 - Rs 4,000. However unlike a Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC), a kids channel doesn’t have a prime time.

“Even as there isn’t any prime time in the kids genre, there are certain times of the day, where the viewership grow. For instance, viewership is higher during the afternoon time vis-à-vis the evening time. Besides holiday season another time of the year when kids tend to view more,” Anu Sikka, head of content, kids entertainment cluster, Viacom18, explained.

According to industry estimates, the cost of producing an animated show ranges anywhere between Rs 30 lakh per episode to Rs 50 lakh per episode.

Additionally the network earns from sponsorship revenue. “We try and integrate brands into our content and characters. We have done a lot of promo licensing where our characters talk about products. We also get TV movies sponsored,”Jaipuria added.

Industry observers noted that kids genre is extremely under indexed, and with a lack of typical prime-time monetisation can be a challenge.

“All kids channels are undervalued and the advertisers aren’t paying much.. In the Indian market, most of the advertisers, target the female audiences and kids’ channels performs exceedingly well among the female audience. Kids channels need to have different monetisation strategy as the GEC formula of a prime time, doesn’t work in this case,” Sujata Dwibedy, head, buying and trading, Amplifi - the media trading division of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), said.

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From Best Media Info:

Viacom18 aims to scale Sonic’s position with new show Golmaal Jr.

The network also wants to scale its content library with 200 + hours of local content. It is expanding Nickelodeon’s reach to eight languages and plans to strengthen its overseas syndication deals in MENA, CIS, South East Asia and Central America

Attracting kids and catering to their choices of entertainment is one of the toughest propositions across entertainment platforms, be it films, television or digital. Viacom18 is one such network that has been catering to this shifting audience for several years. For around five years, the network has managed to secure top spot for its kids’ channel Nickelodeon and has been working on building Sonic as a strong second in the genre.

In 2018-19, Nick had 18% market share and a 14% increase in the top line. Despite the setback suffered due to the implementation of TRAI’s NTO, the channel has enjoyed around 9% to 10% of category growth and is said to reach around 44 million kids in the country.

Nick being a top channel has managed to survive the turbulent distribution ecosystem after TRAI’s NTO implementation but Sonic witnessed an impact in its top line. As a result, the network has now decided to focus on strengthening the position of Sonic with the new franchise. In order to attract viewers on Sonic, the network will launch a new IP, ‘Golmaal Jr.’, which will be an animated series based on the popular Golmaal franchise. Produced by Nickelodeon and created by Reliance Animation and Rohit Shetty Picturez, the new animated series will go on air from May 13 at 1.30pm.

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment and the Kids TV Network at Viacom18, said that rather than overachieving with one platform, it is better to start building the second strong channel, which will not only help us to build from viewership perspective but from the ad revenue perspective as well.

“Sonic was ailing because there was a lot of new competition with the launch of Discovery Kids, Sony Yay. It was affected due to the changes in the distribution ecosystem, Nick survived because it is a number one channel and there is a lot of pull for that channel whereas Sonic is dealing with distribution perspective. This is why it makes complete sense for us to create and put a popular franchise for which I don't have to create enough awareness to make sure I get enough eyeball on that channel,” she further added.

With the launch of Golmaal Jr., the network will bolster the brand’s content portfolio with a total of eight IPs. Earlier, the network had launched some of the popular IPs such as Pakdam Pakdai, Motu Patlu, Shiva, Gattu Battu, Rudra Boom Chik Chik Boom on Nick. Golmaal Jr. will be aired exclusively on Sonic.

Golmaal Jr. launch will be supported by a 360-marketing and communication plan, which will include an aggressive TV plan within the Viacom18 network and outside the network. A high-decibel outdoor plan along with mall visibility will include photo opportunities with the iconic Golmaal bike and audio standees at multiplexes playing the catchy Golmaal title track.

“We have several innovations lined up on the digital fronts like the YouTube unskippable ad, which is a category first. These days several kids and mom blogs are becoming influencers on social media, and keeping them in mind, we have launched an influencer campaign. We have initiated an online challenge, #GolmaalJrChallenge, where kids would be asked to replicate the popular Golmaal dance step,” Jaipuria said.

Viacom18 has over 500 hours of content and in the coming year, it is aiming to scale its content library with 200 + hours of local content. The network is planning to expand the library with the launch of shows, telefilms and movies. Jaipuria said the format of these shows will differ according to its demand. “There will be various formats from 90 minutes to 10 minutes capsules. We are planning to launch seven new films. Nowadays we have witnessed that kids are not keen on watching repeats. Hence, all existing shows will witness the launch of new episodes. There will be a launch of some new shows as well,” she said.

Speaking about the consumption trends among kids, Anu Sikka, Head, Content, Kids Entertainment Cluster, Viacom18, said, “Today there is no defined prime-time for kids and that is the beauty of it but at the same time, they are based on seasons. There are certain seasons where viewership will either grow in the afternoon time, compared to evening prime time. Especially during the holiday season, kids tend to view more during the afternoon period because of several reasons like summer heat when they are not allowed to go out, so they consume content at home. Whereas, evening is the only time when they can go out and play so during that time they viewership is low so that trend changes. But, overall during school days, they are available throughout the day.”

Going forward in 2019, the network is also expanding Nickelodeon reach to eight languages from its existing four languages. It is also looking into strengthening its overseas syndication deals with MENA, CIS, South East Asia, Central America among others.

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From Television Post:

Viacom18 firms up strategy to grow kids TV biz in FY20

MUMBAI: Viacom18-owned kids franchise Nickelodeon’s strategy for FY20 includes stepping up its content offering, strengthening Sonic, and launching more language feeds to expand the audience reach.

Nickelodeon plans to launch 200+ hours of original content across genres in the ongoing fiscal. The kids franchise is also rolling out its eighth IP ‘Golmaal Jr.’, which will air on Sonic from 13th May. The aim of launching the new show on Sonic is to help it compete with Discovery Kids and Sony Yay!.

It also plans to add four new language feeds to its existing offering of four language feeds which include Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.

The kids genre is of strategic importance for the Viacom18 network. After entertainment channels, kids is the most important revenue contributor for the network.

Speaking to reporters, Viacom18 Hindi & Kids TV Network Head Nina Elavia Jaipuria said that the Nickelodeon franchise comprising of Nick, Sonic, Nick Jr., and Nick HD+ has seen a 14% growth in topline notwithstanding the disruption caused by the implementation of the new tariff order (NTO).

“We are one of the most profitable businesses for Viacom18,” Jaipuria asserted.

Talking about the content plan for FY20, she stated that the franchise has built a library of 500 hours of content over the years. With the addition of 200+ hours of content, the library will expand to 700+ hours of content. In FY19, the kids network had added 150 hours of content to its library.

Nickelodeon’s existing IPs include ‘Keymon Ache’, chase comedy ‘Pakdam Pakdai’, ‘Motu Patlu’ – the only adult protagonist in the kids’ animation category, India’s whiz kid Shiva, Gattu Battu, India’s first animated detective series, and Rudra Boom Chik Chik Boom – India’s first Magictoon.

“From the 150 hours that we made in 2018-19, we’re actually going to make 200 hours this year, across our IPs across the various formats and IPs that we have. By the end of the year, we are expected to have 700 hours of animation content. We have a very big summer plan. We are pretty much launching new episodes of almost every show that we own,” Jaipuria stated.

Jaipuria also stated that the volume of the content that Nickelodeon has created has helped to retain the number 1 position in the category. She further stated that the kids network will launch four big movies and three mini-movies during the summer.

“Therefore, we are experimenting with formats, durations, genres and creating a very holistic library that is helping us achieve the number one position in the space,” she noted.

Talking about the plans to launch new language feeds, Jaipuria said, “We’re available in four languages in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada and we will expand that to eight languages in the coming year. Regional is the buzzword, it’s really buzzing, and therefore we thought, why not we go regional as well and therefore we will do eight language feeds this year.”

The biggest focus area for the franchise will be to strengthen Sonic through a comprehensive content and marketing strategy. Jaipuria conceded that the Sonic had seen some erosion in viewership in FY19. To overcome that, the franchise is launching a big bang show like ‘Golmaal Jr’ on the channel.

Produced by Nickelodeon and created by Reliance Animation and Rohit Shetty Picturez, ‘Golmaal Jr.’ is based on the successful Hindi movie franchise ‘Golmaal’. It will air on Sonic from 13th May at 1:30 pm daily.

Jaipuria stated that Nick has hit a peak in the kids genre with 20% share. The idea is to build a second strong channel rather than over leveraging one platform. This will help the franchise not just from a viewership perspective but will help it from a monetisation perspective as well.

Viacom18 has also created a 360-degree marketing campaign to ensure that ‘Golmaal Jr.’ to create awareness about the show. Promos to promote the show will be aired across Viacom18 network. It will also look at integrations with ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Khatra Khatra Khatra’.

The show will also be promoted on other TV viewers to get some of the non-viewers of Viacom18. The show will also be promoted heavily through outdoor including mall activations and branding, transit media, and so on.

Jaipuria also highlighted that the kids channels are increasingly becoming an important vehicle to reach not just kids but also their parents. According to research conducted by the network, the key trend that has emerged is that the involvement of kids in purchase-related decisions in the household has increased.

The Nickelodeon franchise, Jaipuria said, has a healthy mix of advertisers. Almost half of its advertiser base comprises of the usual suspects like Britannia, Parle, ITC, Kellogg’s, and Mattel. The other half, she stated, comprises of non-traditional advertisers like auto, banks, and insurance. The non-traditional advertisers are coming on to the platform because 35% of the kids network’s viewership comes from 22 to 40 age-group.

Nickelodeon is working with advertisers to make sure that they get value from the ad dollars that they spend. Rather than plain vanilla advertising of 30 seconds ad, Nickelodeon has tried to deliver value to the advertisers through product integration both passive and active integration.

“We have also done some product licencing. We have got into some promo licensing. We have got some very happy sponsors on Kids Choice Awards (KCA), which we do year after year. We bought some very happy sponsors for the school contract programmes that we do in the year,” she stated.

Jaipuria also noted that the emergence of new screens and the competition from other genres has not impacted the kids TV genre. To buttress her point, she pointed out that nine out of 10 kids want to watch animation. She also highlighted that the time spent on the kids category has increased to 1 hour 12 minutes from 1 hour 4 minutes

“Despite all the GECs trying to move away from the kids, and despite all the OTT platforms that are out there for children today, broadcast and kids category continues to grow. And it has grown by healthy sum,” she averred.

Queried about the impact of the NTO, Jaipuria said that the new regime is still a black hole of sorts because broadcasters have still not got the subscriber reports. She further stated that the Q4 FY19 witnessed a slowdown in advertising due to the NTO implementation.

“We did have a bad quarter because of NTO. There was an ad slowdown because no advertiser was clear about what is the kind of reach the channels are going to deliver and whether consumers are actually buying the broadcast package, or they are buying the DPO package, or they are going a la carte. We were not very clear and we are still not very clear about what is going on,” Jaipuria stated.

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From AnimationXpress:

There’ll be more from Sonic this year” : Nina Elavia Jaipuria on the launch of ‘Golmaal Jr.’

After a hugely successful 2018, Nickelodeon has revealed its aggressive content strategy for FY 2019-20 and its plans for Sonic which will find a better pushing from the authorities this year.

Post huge success and popularity of seven IPs, the kids franchise has launched the 8th Indigenous IP Golmaal Jr. on SONIC. This newest kids animated series starts on 13 May, 2019 at 1:30 pm. Golmaal Jr. brings on board an entertaining and exciting show which promises endless fun, laughter and ‘golmaal’ to kids.

Based on one of the most popular movie franchises of Hindi cinema – Golmaal, which has been immensely popularised by known filmmaker Rohit Shetty. The animated show brings to life a mix of slice-of-life friendship, relatable characters, humour and loads of fun – all rolled into an enthralling joyride. Golmaal Jr. follows the fun face-off between two groups helmed by Gopal and Madhav respectively who indulge in pranks and funny encounters at Golden Hills Hostel. Together, they are fun, chaotic, mischievous and are sure to entertain and engage kids.

According to the latest BARC report, Nickelodeon has seen a 14 per cent increase in share and revenue whereas Sonic stands last in the list. Thus, being an integral part of Nick, Sonic is going to get more focus this year. Produced by Nickelodeon, Golmaal Jr. is created by Reliance Animation and Rohit Shetty Picturez is thus an attempt to pull up Sonic and keep it going in the race.

“We have been in the number one position for five years in a row. Nickelodeon leads with a fairly decent margin for the full year of 2018-2019. So, from the market share perspective, we are the leaders, not just in viewership share, but also in revenues. So the effort is to sustain Nick’s number one position and grow Sonic. We are not just looking at it from the viewership perspective but also from the monetisation standpoint,” explained Viacom18 Hindi Mass Entertainment and the Kids TV head Nina Elavia Jaipuria.

Nickelodeon has always identified white spaces and launched characters that are ground breaking. From Pakdam Pakdai to Motu Patlu to Shiva to Gattu Battu to Rudra Boom Chik Chik Boom, they have introduced kids to new genres of entertainment. With the launch of Golmaal Jr, the Nickelodeon franchise is set the motion for the aggressive content strategy for the year.

With over 500 hours of content the franchise has today, 2019 will see further scaling of the content library with 200+ hours of content which is expected to add shows as well as television movies.

What is more exciting is that Nickelodeon has improvised the character of Bhavani Shankar played by Utpal Dutt in the 1979 classic Gol Maal as the principal, in order to pay homage to the veteran.

Unlike its other shows Golmaal Jr. has a 2D animation format of 11 minutes which will be showcased in the usual half an hour slot. Answering to AnimationXpress, Sikka unveiled, “Kids, I don’t think differentiate between 2D and 3D. In fact, we’re planning to do more shows in 2D. 3D can go out of fashion but 2D will never feel archaic. Almost all classics are in 2D. And it’s also easy as it’s not high on effects as well as monetisation.”

Speaking about the Golmaal franchise Rohit Shetty said, “Golmaal franchise is very close to my heart. The film has already been popular amongst the family audience and new PRANK GANG- Gopal, Madhav, Laxman and Lucky are all set to entertain children on Sonic. The concept of Golmaal Jr. had been in place for a while and I’m very excited about the partnership with Nickelodeon, to bring this high decibel concept and show to life. Each character and their traits are so carefully crafted that I’m confident kids will love the Golmaal Jr. Prank Gang.”

Bollywood has been the wholly accepted religion of India which has entertained kids and adults alike. Commenting on the similar line, Viacom18 Kids Entertainment Cluster content head, Anu Sikka commented, “Bollywood is an important part of every Indian kids’ life and they have always loved films and always adored these characters. Golmaal has been a very successful franchise, much loved by kids and the animated series Golmaal Jr. with its unique take on fun, friendship and humor is sure to get the same patronage and love from our young fans. The addition of Golmaal Jr. will bring further depth and repertoire to our squad of indigenous Nicktoons.”

Jaipuria further noted, “Rs 30 lakh investment for an episode and a few above that, so you can multiply it to the hours of content and you’ll know how much we have been investing to produce content. We will be launching all-new episodes of every show.”

The launch of Golmaal Jr. will be supported by a dynamic 360 degree marketing and communication plan which will include an aggressive TV plan, within the Viacom18 network and outside the network. A high decibel outdoor plan along with mall visibility is sure to capture eyeballs across the country. Fun photo opportunities with the iconic Golmaal bike and audio standees at multiplexes playing the catchy Golmaal title track is sure to break the clutter.

It’s now a matter of time to see if Golmaal Jr. too turns into a phenomenon!

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From IWMBuzz:

Golmaal Junior will take Sonic to new heights: Nina Jaipuria, Head – Hindi Mass Entertainment and The Kids TV Network at Viacom18

In conversation with Nina Jaipuria, Head – Hindi Mass Entertainment and The Kids TV Network at Viacom18.

In keeping with the maxim that nothing appeals to kids more than Bollywood, Viacom 18’s children’s division, Nickelodeon, has decided to partner with well-known producer-director, Rohit Shetty, for an animated version of his super-hit franchise, Golmaal.

“Golmaal Junior kicks off on Sonic channel today at 1.30 pm (as with animation protocol, 2 fresh episodes will be telecast back to back). We plan to have at least 100 episodes,” added Nina Jaipuria, Head – Hindi Mass Entertainment and The Kids TV Network at Viacom18.

The new series brings to life a heady mix of slice-of-life friendship, relatable characters, humor and loads of fun – all rolled into an enthralling joyride. It follows the fun face-off between two groups, helmed by film characters, Gopal (Ajay Devgn) and Madhav (Arshad Warsi) respectively. Together, they are fun, chaotic, mischievous and are sure to entertain and engage the kids.

Nina says, “Although our series is based on Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal, we have also created the character of the stern principal, which will remind you of Utpal Dutt’s character in the old Golmaal (Hrishikesh Mukherjee).”

“Research has shown that today kids don’t want only positive characters. Rather, they want guys who have lots of fun, who might even border on the grey. Today, kids have really matured and get life.”

Going on, Nina adds, “Nickelodeon has always identified white spaces and launched characters that are ground-breaking. Each of the local home-grown Nicktoons, Pakdam Pakdai, India’s first chase comedy, Motu Patlu – the only adult protagonist in the kids’ animation category, Shiva, India’s whiz kid, Gattu Battu, India’s first animated detective series, Rudra Boom Chik Chik Boom, India’s first Magictoon, have all introduced kids to new genres of entertainment. With the launch of Golmaal Jr, the Nickelodeon franchise will set into motion an aggressive content strategy for the year. With over 500 hours of content, the franchise today has the largest, most immersive and the most versatile local content library in the category. The coming year will see further scaling of the content library with over 200 + hours of content, expected to be added through shows as well as made-for-television movies.”

“Not resting on our laurels, we plan to grow aggressively in the south regional markets as well. Our homegrown IPs have also worked in other, non Indian markets, thereby increasing our revenue streams,” says Nina.

Talking about children’s channels’ prime time band, Nina opines, “Ideally, we don’t have any fixed time slot, but yes, during summers and winter breaks, which is our core season, kids tune in more in the noon hours.”

When we ask as to why Golmaal Junior was shot in animation and not real life, Nina says, “Kids still prefer animation as the vehicle to let their imaginations fly. We have tied up with Reliance Animation for the same. In keeping with digital, the series will stream on Voot as well.”

The channel is leaving no stone unturned in creating buzz about Golmaal Junior. “Apart from promos running on all Viacom channels (Colors, MTV), there is also an extensive reach out programme via billboards and mall activations going on across major cities,” says Nina.

Nina admits that Sonic has not done well and hence they were bringing in Golmaal Junior to fire it up. Any cross-channel telecast? “No, all our brands remain loyal to their mother channels.”

She also accepts that the market is in a flux right now with TRAI guidelines kicking in.

In closing, Nina adds that they would love to make a short or long film (as they do with all original characters) with Golmaal characters as well. “But as the rights remain with Rohit Shetty, let’s see how things work out.”

We hope that Golmaal Junior gives blockbuster numbers just as its cine franchise does on the Box Office.

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From The Hindu:

‘Understanding the audience holds the key’


Anu Sikka

Creating content for children is no child’s play, says Anu Sikka, a pioneering presence in Indian animation industry
Anu Sikka’s career has revolved around children because she has been engaged with what kids enjoy the most — animation. Currently executive vice-president — programming, content and research, Kids Cluster, Viacom 18, which owns Nickelodeon India, Sonic and Nick Junior India, Anu was in Thiruvananthapuram to attend Toonz Media Group’s Animation Masters Summit where she was honoured for outstanding contribution to Indian animation. “It feels surreal. We were just doing our jobs and if that culminated in contributing to the industry, that gives me a huge high,” says Anu, who has worked with Hungama TV and SAB TV. With runaway hits such as Motu Patlu, Pakdam Pakdai, Shiva, Gattu Battu and Rudra under its belt, Nick has been on a roll and Anu has seen the growth of the channel and the industry from close quarters. Excerpts from an interview where she talks about creating Indian content and the challenges en route:

Local vs foreign

There was a time when most kids’ channels were totally dependent on foreign acquisition. When I joined Nick in 2006, we had original content from our parent network in the US, besides those from Japan, Korea, UK and France. Children were also happy and it didn’t matter whether the characters looked Indian or not. Although there were animation films on television, the genre was primarily mythology.

Our first step in making non-mythological, local content was the animated-cum-live action television series J Bole To Jadoo (2005) based on the movie Koi...Mil Gaya. There was a lull after that. That’s when Green Gold Animation set an example with Chhota Bheem [on Pogo]. It had an interesting combination — while the characters were not contemporary, the stories were. That was a learning experience and we felt that if stories can be contemporary, characters too could be modern. Thus we launched Keymon Ache [about a boy who has a magical school bag named Keymon], which was a decent success.

Then you had a string of successful shows...

Motu Patlu was the game changer for us. In fact, we took a big risk with the show. One, the characters were adults and there was no precedence of any animation show with adult characters. Secondly, these two characters from the comic strip in Lot Pot magazine were known to people of my generation but not to the present crop of viewers. Yet, we decided to go ahead with the adult characters but gave them attributes of children, such as innocence and warmth. The third risk was that we decided to make 78 episodes straight away, instead of the usual trend of producing 13 to 26 episodes and then repeating those episodes. We felt that children would like to see new stories. The show became so popular that we had spin-offs, television movies, 19 of them till now, and a theatrical version as well.

We experimented with slapstick chase comedy in Pakdam Pakdai, a project with Toonz Animation. The series was tough because it was a silent show and we added dialogues later. That was followed by Shiva for our superhero-loving audience. We pushed the envelope with a 22-minute episode, which was not a popular format then. We could take the risks because we had success behind us.

Other genres we took up was adventure-comedy-action in Gattu Battu, again with Toonz, and magic in Rudra. Now Nick has only Indian content and Sonic has 95% of it. Nick Junior has only English content.

Your take on how the channels influence children’s language skills?

My nieces who grew up in the US could not speak a word of Hindi and so my brother bought the whole package of Hindi animation shows for them. Another side to the trend is that parents of pre-school kids insist that children watch the content only in English and not Hindi because they believe a child will easily pick up communication skills from those shows.

How competitive has the industry become?

There is immense competition. There might be over a dozen national channels that cater to the kids’ category and most have Indian content and regional language feeds.

Yet our shows are not on a par with international content?

That is because of the quality of animation, which has a direct relation to the kind of investment we can afford to make. We can’t compare the two. At the same time, there is no generic taste as such in the Indian context. Children living in metros won’t be watching the same content as those who stay in small towns.

What is the key to creating content for kids?

You need to have a good story. The first step in creating such content is to understand the audience. There is a risk involved in animation, but it should always be a calculated risk. We should know what is going in their lives. You have to think like them. It is not child’s play because it is difficult to keep pace with their changing behaviour, attitude, likes and dislikes and lifestyle.

Your favourites

I enjoy watching kids’ content more than those for adults, be it our shows or those on other broadcasters. I like Shaun The Sheep, which we acquired from the UK eight years ago.

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From AnimationXpress:

“I hope the kids’ category continues to grow”: Anu Sikka exclusive at AMS 2019

Toonz Media Group celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and managed to gather the animation industry under one roof for its 2019 edition of Animation Masters Summit (AMS). The event saw dignitaries from the industry grace the dais and give away valuable insights to the audience.

AMS 2019 honoured two masters for their contribution to the world of animation, professor Raman Lal Mistry and Nickelodeon India/ Viacom 18 head of content, kids entertainment cluster Anu Sikka. AnimationXpress, in a candid talk with Sikka asked her views about the ever growing animation industry, especially the kids’ sector.

How does it feel on being honoured for your outstanding contribution to Indian animation?

Well it’s an honour to be recognised by the industry, with which I have been associated since 2004. But this achievement and recognition is incomplete without my entire team’s effort and contribution and of course without Viacom 18’s vision to take all the risk in pushing the envelope year on year.

What do you think brings the Indian kids or their parents to Nickelodeon?

Obviously the biggest pull factor is the acceptance of its content by kids of all age group in the kids’ category. And the popularity of these shows are driven by characters like Motu Patlu, Shiva, Rudra, Gattu Battu to name a few, which kids either find relatable or inspirational. Also we did manage to identify the need gaps in the category before anybody else got that trend right.

So it was a culmination of all these factors which led to the creation of shows, which has given us the edge over our competitors and led us to the success of this channel. Nick continues to be No.1 (all India two to 14 age group) for the fifth consecutive year. And it goes without saying that the constant and innovative marketing has further strengthened all our channels – Nick, Sonic, Nick Jr. and Nick HD+.

How do you think the growth of OTT platforms has affected the content in the kids’ genre?

Both screens, TV and digital help build a more dynamic ecosystem and are complementary to each other. TV continues to gain the same patronage from kids as is evident in the leadership standing and genre share. In the case of Nickelodeon, VOOT Kids that rests on our digital platform VOOT has contributed to the popularity of the Nickelodeon characters is evident through the fact that top six of the top 10 characters on the platform continue to be from the Nickelodeon franchise.

What is the current trend that you can see in the kids’ genre?

Presently, the two shows that are completely dominating the kids’ genre are Rudra and Motu Patlu. Indian content is completely dominating the kids’ landscape. Today every kids channel in India is investing heavily in the local content. This trend will continue to grow along with the audience appetite for different and unique characters and stories. This creates a challenge for the storytellers, broadcasters and the studios to recognise that ever changing and ever growing need of the audience and bring about that variety in our offering on various platforms.

The way of communicating a story cannot be similar to what we had in 2010, when we started. The audience is evolving extremely rapidly and we (broadcaster and studios) have to keep pace with that.

When a project is pitched to you, what do you look for in the content?

We have a slightly different way of doing things. The concept development happens in-house. So whenever we create a new show, we first identify the need gap in the market. Post-that we sit with the writers, flesh out the concept in detail, decide the characters, the backdrop of the show and then start getting the scripts developed. Once we have completed the entire process, we then approach the studio to partner with us to execute these concepts. So we approach the development of the show differently. We do get pitches and if there is any particular concept that really catches our eye, we work closely with them to develop it, which we believe will resonate well with the audience. But presently everything that you see on air, both on Nick and Sonic, is something that has been developed in-house.

Where do you see the kids’ sector growing in the coming years?

We hope that the category continues to grow. I would say it is still a relatively young genre in our country, but the success of the category is for everybody to see considering the number of national kids’ channels which have come up. And we continue to hear that more and more channels in regional space are getting launched as well. We sincerely hope that this upward trend continues at an even higher pace which will probably end up helping the animation industry to grow at perhaps the same rate or even better than it has managed to achieve so far.

What changes need to be brought in the animation industry considering the kids content to make it reach a larger number of audiences?

It’s difficult to say what changes are required in the animation industry as animation and VFX industry has been growing at a steady pace of approximately 17 per cent every year. But looking at the pace at which the demand for local content is increasing, we definitely need to have more studios to cater to that demand. With the growth of kids universe at three to four per cent every year, animated content will no longer be restricted to the kids channel but will eventually be consumed on GEC’s as well.

Which is your favourite show from the channel?

Well that’s the most difficult question. It’s really hard and unfair to pick up just one. Each show is unique and caters to a different emotion, so picking up one is almost impossible.

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From AdAge India:

Facts About the Kid's Genre

- Kids genre is the least affected by NTO, witnessing a marginal drop
- Kids genre on TV contributes to almost 30% to the overall TV viewership
- Kids genre on TV contributed to almost 3% to the overall AdEx
- Cost of one animated episode is around Rs 3-4 million
- A 10-sec ad rate on kids channels is about Rs 5000-7000

It’s been almost 11 years since Chhota Bheem first arrived on the television screens and took the kids viewership by storm. Having got rejected for a good half a decade, the 9-year-old in orange dhoti finally found a spot on Pogo, pushing the channel to the top in no time. It was then that Turner must have realised how important it was to own the IP, which, by the way, still lies with the production company Green Gold Animation. Quickly after, Turner launched Roll No. 21 with Kris - a modern take on the story of Krishna and Kansa.

Since then, we have seen many local faces on kids TV. However Motu Patlu was the first property to arrive, outside Turner. Nickelodeon, today has eight local IPs that drive the majority of the viewership on the four-channel-kids cluster. The genre currently enjoys about 50% of local content.

The kids genre is one of the least affected by the New Tariff Order (NTO). It is expected to grow the subscription revenues for the genre. Siddharth Jain, Managing Director, Turner India, said, “The MRP regime has seen a marginal drop in the size of the genre. We are a 'pull' not 'push' genre. Even though there is a change in the display for the consumer on their television screen, the relative share of our network has improved. As the MRP regime has not had a real effect on the size of the genre, the subscription revenue also remains unchanged.”

However, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi and Kids TV Network (Colors and Nickelodeon India), Viacom18 Media, feels that subscription on the genre will grow because of NTO. But TV ad sales will remain the biggest driver.

The contribution of kids genre to the overall TV viewership stands at about Rs 30%, while its contribution to the advertising pie is still at a meagre 3%. The genre has been tackling under-indexation right from the start.

Jaipuria said, “The contribution to the ad pie has almost doubled in the last 10 years, from about 1%, versus a 3% that it is today. I would obviously like this to be a faster growth, but I am happy that we are in the right direction. Major reasons for this growth are the fact that kids today are the in-house consultants for every purchase; co-viewing and brand solutions being offered beyond 30-seconder vanilla spots.”

The genre is a strong Rs 600 crore in advertising sales, with a steady growth rate of about 10% y-o-y. However, under-indexation is an issue which needs to be dealt with, more seriously.

Jain said, “The Kids genre continues to be under-indexed, but we are seeing far more new clients than we used to in the past. More and more client categories want to work with us and reap the benefits of a parental co-viewing demographic. As they recognise the significant influence that kids have on household purchasing, we will see this equation start to change. So-called 'non-traditional' categories that we are seeing growth in includes Auto, Consumer Durables, Tourism and E-commerce.”

Co-viewership on the genre has been very crucial from both advertising and viewership points of view. It has been growing as more and more parents are keen on becoming friends with their kids. With this lifestyle and mindset change in parenting, knowing their favourite stars and talking the kids’ own lingo becomes of utmost importance. This has been giving co-viewing a huge push, along with the policing that parents have always been doing.

The genre enjoys close to 30-35% co-viewership, giving advertisers a huge benefit of catching the young ones along with the decision makers.

Jain said, “Co-viewership is a trend on the rise. Parents want to play an active role in their child’s entertainment choices and laugh along with them. A good cartoon should be able to entertain someone of any age. As many Indian households still have just one screen, grown-ups do still tend to control the remote. A third of kids’ watch-time is on Kids channels, followed by GEC, movies and music.”

In the recent past, a kids channel Animax India was shut down and replaced by Sony Yay, while Toonami and ZeeQ were also shut down. The genre, however, has not witnessed much impact, since none of these were major viewership or advertising contributors to the genre.

Jaipuria explains, “Kids genre has been growing year-on-year, despite all the segmentation and other launches. The content on the channel, though, has evolved to be more local and contemporary, reflecting the society. We are a huge country with 400 million kids out there. I don’t think the genre is in the situation of cannibalising each other. It is growing steadily with a consistent increase in time spent. Currently, the time spent in the genre is a healthy over an hour. The category has really expanded with the launch of Sony Yay and Discovery Kids. It is a fierce competition but that’s good for the genre, since then, the kids get to watch variety of the best content.”

Within kids, Hindi claims the biggest viewership share, with about 71%, followed by English that captures 21% of the viewership. The remaining comes from Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. Geographically, Nickelodeon gets close to 40% of its viewership from the southern markets, despite the fact that it is the only regional market to have kids channels.

“It is an ‘All-India’ genre. 40% of our viewership comes from the southern markets. We are trying our level best to localise our content to suit that market. Kids content, technically, doesn’t have boundaries. They are as receiving for Ninja Hattori, or Dora and Peppa Pig, as they are for Rudra and Shiva. Our channel is currently available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada and we are in the process of launching four more language feeds,” shares Jaipuria.

Cartoon Network was the first channel to be launched in the genre in India, in 1995. Since then, the genre has seen about 12-15 players, including pre-schoolers, action-adventure, regional and Tweens. While the local content has been the hero in the genre, lately, international IPs have an equal pull. Jain said, “As we have seen with the popularity of shows like Bheem (2008) and Roll No. 21, the demand for homegrown IP will continue to increase. However, international IP and popular shows from around the world will still appeal to Indian viewers, who have an increasingly globalized mindset. Overseas animation can also be localised through investment in dubbing in local languages and careful curation or what we call transcreation which is where we don’t do an exact dub of the script into local language but instead localize it so that it sounds authentic and relatable in the local context. IP ownership is important because of long-term sustainability. It allows content owners to extend a franchise beyond video and develop deeper engagement with fans through merchandise, games, events and location-based entertainment.”

The cost of producing one animated episode stands at around Rs 30-40 lakh, versus a live action show on Hindi GEC which costs around Rs 7-8 lakh for a regular episode (without a wedding celebration or outdoor shoot). The cost of content on kids genre is high, but so is the value of library content. Kids can watch a single piece of content over and over again, for an innumerable amount of time.

Cartoon Network stood as the leader in the genre for a long time, post that, its sister channel Pogo climbed the top on the back of Chhota Bheem. For close to 15 years, Turner enjoyed the lead, which was finally broken by Nickelodeon around three years back. The Nickelodeon cluster with four channels (Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, Sonic and Nick HD) grabs 32% market share. This is the first time the cluster has climbed to the top, toppling Disney’s kids cluster with 26% share. Nickelodeon currently has both its channels, Nick and Sonic, on the top two positions.

Lastly, consumer products are key for the genre, as the kids want to own up the character they love and want a tag on everything that they use/consume throughout.

Jain said, “The brand licensing industry is a natural extension for an animated IP. If a fan loves one of our shows, they also want to 'own' something from it and have something tangible. Take for example Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE), the merchandising and licensing arm that represents Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Cartoon Network originals in India. It has seen a healthy double-digit growth rate over the last few years. CNE has recently forged some very interesting partnerships in area of fashion with ace designers Manish Arora and Nandita Mahtani.”

As for Nickelodeon, Jaipuria said that with the biggies operating in the consumer products segment, Nickelodeon is still taking baby steps. She added, “We operate in almost 40+ categories in consumer products across our IPs. We have about 500+ video games on the website. Voot Kids is also a place where kids can engage with us beyond TV. Consumer Products contributes about 5-10% of our overall revenue.”

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More Nick: Nickelodeon India's Sonic to Premiere 'Golmaal Jr.' on Monday 13th May 2019!

Originally published: Sunday, May 12, 2019.

Sources: BizAsia, Indian Television Dot Com; Additional sources: Wikipedia, Anime Superhero Forum /@animegamer (II).
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon India and Golmaal Jr. News and Highlights!

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