The head, Hindi mass entertainment and kids TV network, Viacom18, talks about the growth of the network’s kids channels and viewership.
Considering the growth of India’s population, kids have become one of the largest demographics in the country. Adding to this is the summer vacation period, when kids are glued to the television screens. This period becomes all the more important advertisers and broadcasters alike.
While broadcasters, especially in the children’s space, are busy bringing in newer properties to attract kids to the TV screens, advertisers eagerly await to leverage this opportunity.
This year, the kids’ franchise of Viacom18 launched two IPs, ‘Abhimanyu Ki Alien Family’ on Nick and ‘Kanha – Morpankh Samrat’ starting May-end on Sonic.
Speaking about the two launches, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, head, Hindi mass entertainment and kids TV network, Viacom18, shared some interesting facts about the kid’s genre in India.
“Three out of five children watching the kids’ genre, are on the Nickelodeon network."
Jaipuria says that the network continues to lead the kids’ entertainment category, with 31% of the market share. Nick (29 million) and Sonic (24 million) – two kids channels from the network – have delivered the highest reach in the category in FY22-23.
“Three out of five children watching the kids’ genre, are on the Nickelodeon network,” she states.
Speaking about the content strategy, Jaipuria says the focus is on closing the ‘white spaces’ that may be present in the genre at the network/industry level. “As a result, we have pretty much every single genre on the table. We pioneered this concept a couple of years ago and have launched 11 IPs across seven languages.”
The shows and concepts that are developed by the network, are a result of extensive research and studies, says Jaipuria.
“Research can only tell you that much. However, the key is to make shows and content for children to give them a break from the harsh, monotonous and sometimes even cruel environments, and an imaginary world where they can escape.”
“The kids’ category carried about 6-7% of the total TV viewership for quite some years. Despite all the fragmentation on the digital front, this hasn’t changed."
The content consumption habits of children, just like adults, took a 360-degree turn during the COVID pandemic. Today, kids consume content across various platforms and screens. Jaipuria says that they have made sure to be present across all the touch points where a child may be.
“The kids’ category carried about 6-7% of the total TV viewership for quite some years. Despite all the fragmentation on the digital front, this hasn’t changed. This is because kids know that content here is tailor-made for them. They feel good that they can command the remote at home for a few hours.”
“However, we have also made it possible for them to watch this content even outside TV at a time, place and screen that is suitable to them. Every show that is in the top five here (on TV), is in the top five on digital also.”
Advertising and marketing plans
Jaipuria says that while they will continue to be active on all the Viacom18 channels for their advertising and marketing, they will also be focusing on general entertainment channels (GEC), and sports and music channels outside the network.
“We will be there on JioCinema and also focus on other cinemas.”
“We will also be doing activities in malls, etc., to engage with kids. We’re also working on developing games that can be played on phones, tabs as well as CTVs. We will continue to create short and long-form content for kids.”
Kids dictate what the household consumes
According to Jaipuria, as content consumption evolves among kids, they are also slowly influencing their households’ purchasing decisions.
"Kids dictate what the household consumes."
“Kids are in-house consultants today. They dictate what the household consumes. That’s why it’s important for advertisers to be out there with the kids as well. We’re seeing a lot of summer brands (ice cream, ready-to-cook categories like momos, etc.) come onboard. We also have many non-kid brands on the network this time around, like MTR, mattresses and other categories that came onboard to sample the genre.”
According to Jaipuria, having multiple channels under the same genre has helped them strengthen their position in the market. The channel also has an extensive summer library, with all-new episodes of existing shows. They are also coming up with a number of movies for the network.
Jaipuri adds that ‘Kanha – Morpankh Samrat’ will also be sampled on the network’s GECs. This will provide another opportunity for parents to spend time with their kids.