By Leena Lele Dutta
Digital Natives aka kids born after widespread adoption of internet technology have found their second home with devices and continue to explore newer avenues to stay up to date on everything. In that stride, the two-long years of pandemic catapulted the digital adoption to unexpected lengths.
Closer to home, in the kids’ entertainment industry – the audience preferences and demands have significantly transformed. For instance, as families grew habituated to lead a hybrid lifestyle – television remains the preferred medium for entertainment consumption for kids, the online consumption has been equally growing rampantly.
Let’s take a closer look at this new way of life and its impact on kids and industry.
Content Variety to dictate attention
Staying indoors for a long period of time, minimal physical interactions with friends and significant increase in screen time has led to a significant reduction in attention span of kids. As a result, now they tend to be more experimental with the shows they watch and are on hunt for fresh content. Building on this insight 2021 saw us launch an unprecedented number of shows and characters including some top favourites like Taarak Mehta Kka Chhota Chashmah, Oggy and the Cockroaches and Obocchama-Kun.
In the coming months Sony YAY! will focus on building its content repertoire with locally tailored international content, adapting popular family entertainers and commissioning original animated shows.
360-degree presence is key
Currently, parents and kids are trying to maintain a balanced lifestyle with offline and online activities. As they constantly adapt to these ever-changing circumstances, we aim to reach out to them on the platforms of their choice.
The YAY! universe is spread across TV, digital, and mobile, catering to the entire family – kids, and guardians, alike. As kids get to spend more time with their favourite characters, we have also explored interactive AR filter, telemovies, online workshops, and much more to continue extending the YAY! toon experience beyond Television.
Content to work in congruence with Research –
Creation of animation content is no child’s play, it is an effort-driven, time-intensive process that requires deep planning. So, when we decide to create or curate a show, it is on the back of exhaustive research and data analysis so that we can cater to what our young audiences want and like. The Searchlight 2021, a research study conducted/ commissioned by Sony YAY! is reflective of some of the key trends and insights into the world of kids.
We have created special models and algorithms that help us nail down their likes and preferences down to each minute of the show. We have devised an AIML model that consolidates various attributes & their combinations that favourably influence viewership ratings and hence our market share. It aims to not just learn from current trends but to also study historical trends to generate indicative future ratings. These insights are then regularly monitored and validated. This AIML model minimises the scope of human error via its technological expertise.
Additionally, we also have a robust research process in place to continuously test and develop our content, tailoring it to the ever-evolving likes and preferences of kids. For this we extensively organise focus groups across various demographics and geographies, closely understanding their reaction to various types of content and more.
The author is business head of Sony Pictures Networks India. Views expressed are personal.