The survey, conducted by Sony YAY! and Kantar Research, reveals that younger kids prefer television, while older kids lean towards OTT platforms.
Fifty-seven per cent of kids prefer to receive their entertainment on television, while only 10 per cent receive it via OTT. Thirty-three per cent watch both, reveals a new survey titled, Searchlight 2022. Conducted by the entertainment channel Sony YAY!, in collaboration with Kantar Research, the report decodes lives and habits of Indian kids.
The report also reveals that younger kids prefer TV, while older kids lean towards OTT platforms. There exists a clear geographical divide in kids' preference for OTT entertainment - 81 per cent of kids surveyed in southern India preferred OTT, as opposed to only 56 per cent in eastern India.
In an interview to afaqs! in October 2021, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, head, Hindi mass entertainment and kids TV network, Viacom18, had said that OTT viewing supplements TV.
“Unlike adult content, kids content is evergreen. There is no different kind of an audience who's looking for different kinds of content on a different platform. We ensure that the same content is available to them on Voot Kids, OTT platform or YouTube Kids or anywhere that they would like to watch and engage with us. It allows the child to watch their favourite cartoon at any time of the day and on any device. Especially in homes that have only a single TV,” she said.
Leena Lele Dutta, business head, Sony Pictures Networks India, kids’ genre, says, “As a brand practice, we constantly aim to follow an approach to Explore, and understand our young audiences and their dynamic choices to deliver a wholesome experience across the platforms. With the release of Searchlight 2022, we are happy to present our learnings to the industry at large, and assist in understanding this dynamic target group better”.
Last month, Dutta, in an interview to afaqs!, had also spoken on similar lines. “There is no other medium like TV to reach out to millions of kids at one time. And, TV is here to stay. However, the digital adaptation has also been robust in the kids’ genre. So, it is not easy for us to avoid digital play. Instead of ensuring that kids stay on TV, our focus is to take their universe outside of TV to make sure that they stay with our characters. We have eight YouTube channels and a full-fledged plan for gaming. All our characters are adapted to the casual gaming format.”
When it comes to OTT, most kids prefer to watch cartoons and anime (81 per cent), followed by music (47 per cent), educational/informational shows (42 per cent), movies (38 per cent) and standup comedy shows (31 per cent).
The survey, conducted across eight cities in the country, offers a deep dive into India’s young audiences aged between seven and 14 years. The research derives its findings between educational, personal and entertainment preferences. It also undertakes region-wise bifurcation of the data, considering India’s geographical and cultural diversities, to highlight the preferred activities of kids from region-specific markets.
Searchlight 2022 sheds a few insights on kids’ learning preferences. The majority of respondents wished for lessons to be held online (63 per cent), while the rest wanted to go back to pre-COVID style of offline teaching (37 per cent). Kids favoured online classes over offline classes due to the rewatch option of online classes (29 per cent), the comfort of home (28 per cent), followed by the ability to attend classes they usually can’t physically (16 per cent) and save time (15 per cent).
While edutech platforms rose to prominence during COVID-induced lockdowns, only six per cent of respondents had edutech subscriptions and seven per cent had not subscribed, but attended edutech classes. However, 48 per cent were not aware of the existence of edutech platforms and 39 per cent had opted to use YouTube videos to learn concepts.
With kids stuck at homes, owing to movement restrictions due to the pandemic, gaming became an essential part of kids’ entertainment. One out of two kids enjoyed gaming on their phone and free games were core to their consumption. Fifty-three per cent preferred to play solo, while 44 per cent were included in multiplayer games with friends, and only four per cent played multiplayer games with strangers.
The survey was carried out in October-November 2021, with 982 kids and 316 parents.