Kids genre continues to see a 20-25% category growth when compared to last year
However, the rise in viewership hasn’t resulted in increase in advertising revenue.
2020 has been a tough year for everyone but more so for kids as they are cooped up in the house since March due to the pandemic. This has resulted in a rise in viewership for kids channels on television. As per the industry estimates, kids genre witnessed 40-47% rise in viewership during lockdown, that is between March-June. Even as viewership has stabilised with online classes, the genre continues to witness a high interaction, “During the lockdown, kids category saw over 45% growth in viewership. Further, the genre share which is usually at about 7% increased to as much as 9%. Of course, it has stabilised now back to 7% but we have still registered a high in viewership because the total TV viewership pie has grown. The genre continues to see a 20-25% category growth when compared to last year,” Nina Elavia Jaipuria, head – Hindi and Kids TV Network (COLORS and Nickelodeon India), Viacom18, told BrandWagon Online.
Interestingly, while other genre of channels such as entertainment had resorted to reruns of old shows due to lockdown, kids genre was one of the few running original content besides launching new content. This is primarily due to the fact that animation content is planned well in advance. “We had planned well in advance for content which was to be aired in Q2 and Q3 of 2020 well ahead of time,” Abhishek Dutta, South Asia Network Head, POGO and Cartoon Network, said.
From Pogo forming strategic partnerships with Prasar Bharti to simulcast Chota Bheem, to other networks launching their new shows ahead of schedule, to releasing interactive marketing tactics, broadcasters adopted new techniques this year to meet the growing demand for content. WarnerMedia’s POGO launched Titoo – Har Jawaab Ka Sawaal Hu in July and Smashing Simmba on Children’s day/Diwali. Meanwhile Cartoon network, WarnerMedia’s another kids channel, acquired and rolled out Bandbudh aur Budbak in April, when the show was originally meant to be aired in May. Similarly, Disney rolled out new series such as Guddu, Bapu and Gadget Guru Ganesha as summer releases while Viacom18’ s Nickelodeon and Sonic launched Ting Tong, and Pinaki and Happy – The Bhoot Bandhus in Diwali. For Dutta, home-grown content has resonated with audiences the most. “Home-grown content is currently the corner-stone of kids content in India and our strategy for both Pogo and Cartoon Network has been to strengthen our offerings of popular and premium home-grown kids entertainment content that offers a local flavour to our young viewers in India. This is primarily why this year we largely launched home-grown IPs,” he elaborated, adding that the network will launch another home-grown content next year titled Lambu-G Tingu-G, produced by Cosmos Maya.
However, the rise in viewership hasn’t resulted in increase in advertising revenue. “The kids genre witnessed a drop in ad revenues due to a drop in the number of advertisers on account of the pandemic. While certain categories like Edtech or BFSI were a boon for the kids genre, they could not compensate for the drop in other category investments,” Vanita Keswani, CEO, Madison Media Sigma, explained.
The TV industry reported a 6.4% growth in advertising revenue in 2019 to reach Rs 32,000 crore, Ficci-EY report, revealed. Of this, kids channels account for 5% that is Rs 1,600 crore of the ad volume. According to industry estimates, the cost of a ten-second ad spot on kids channels such as Nick, Disney, among others ranges between Rs 1,000 – Rs 3,000 during prime time that is between 8 pm – 10 pm. However, while volume of ad for the genre declined in the first half of the fiscal, the category saw a revival of advertisements from September. As per BARC, the kids genre has seen a 15% increase in advertising volumes when compared to last year. This is because this year, the genre registered a lot of co-viewership from parents as well as kids. For Dutta, the genre has observed a change in advertising and this change is being observed more on a pan-regional level rather than local level wherein some advertisers who are not essentially kids advertising brands are coming on to the platform. “Due to the new normal where everything was going digital, we saw a bunch of new advertisers such as Vedantu, Whitehat Jr, Byju’s as well as ecommerce and e-wallets platforms like, Phonepe and AmazonPay coming on board, We had a good share of 50-50 kid and non-kid advertisers because of this,” Jaipuria stated.