Sony Pictures Networks India’s kids channel will be producing 500-550 new episodes in 2021
As children continue to remain indoors post the spread of Covid-19, kids TV channels seem to continue to benefit. Analysts predict that kids genre– which witnessed a 27% rise in viewership, securing a seven percent share in the TV viewing genre– returned to normal five percent post unlockdown, is expected to rise again with the onset of summer vacations. “Last year Sony YAY! saw a rise in viewership in lockdown and keeping in mind the way the situation is right now, we are expecting a surge in the coming summer months after the online exams are over,” Leena Lele Dutta, business head, Sony Pictures Networks India, Kids’ Genre, told BrandWagon Online adding that the channel has recorded 42% year-on-year growth in viewership.
With the summer vacation around the corner, the channel has created a pipeline of content including new shows and movies. “This year we have almost doubled up our content plan from 300-350 episodes a year to producing 500-550 episodes throughout the year,” Dutta added. The channel launched its tentpole show Taarak Mehta Kka Chhota Chashmah which is an animated version of its popular show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah and has a bank of 50 episodes of Honey Bunny ka Jhol Maal for the summer vacations. In May-June, the channel will launch a new show Bhalu Yeh Bindaas Hai along with a new movie Thakela And Pakela- Bhoot Boss and episodes of Paap-O-Meter. Further, Sony YAY! plans to bring back the anime show Obocchama Kun in June-July, after its launch in April. According to Dutta, this year the focus will be on ramping up movie production of channel’s IPs. “Over the year we plan to launch about 30 movies of our IPs and four of Paap-O-Meter. We are also looking at a movie for Taarak Mehta Kka Chhota Chashmah by the end of year,” she elaborated.
Interestingly, Sony YAY!’s content also brought eyeballs on the digital platform. The channel claims that their digital platforms have witnessed a 75% growth across the nine YouTube channels. “While we are not available on SonyLiv, our Youtube platform saw a surge in terms of views with about 30 million unique viewers coming across Sony YAY!’s YouTube channel last year. In fact, our show Kicko & Super Speedo, which has its own YouTube channel, recorded higher viewership than Sony YAY!’s YouTube channel,” Dutta explained.
As for advertisement revenue, the channel was hit by low ad volumes last year despite high viewership but claims to have witnessed a rise in ad sales since September. “In Sony YAY! we have seen phenomenal rise in ad volumes from September onwards and are back to our pre-covid levels month-on-month. Currently, we are seeing 25-30% quarter-on quarter rise in ad volumes. However, we expect this to increase during the summer quarter of April-June. Further, our growth combined with the content slate for summer, we also expect an increase in ad rates,” Dutta stated. According to industry estimates, the cost of a ten-second ad spot on kids channel ranges between Rs 1,000 – 3,000 during prime time that is between 8 pm – 10 pm.
She also highlighted how the channel is expecting the non-kids category of brands to advertise. While FMCG has the highest share of ad volumes in the kids genre, a trend which is continuing this year as well, unconventional categories such as e-commerce are now also exploring the genre. ”Since the kids genre allows a lot of co-viewing with parents and adults, a lot of non-kids brands are leveraging this viewership trend. For instance, we have had Nykaa advertise on our channel, targeting their ads at the mothers,” Dutta said. Further, Sony YAY! currently has five games of original IPs and has garnered over 19 million downloads till now. Leveraging this, the channel plans to launch around 13 games across the year of Honey Bunny, Paap-O-Meter, Thakela And Pakela.