‘Kids want to be good-hearted superheroes’

20 May,2013

By Meghna Sharma

 

The children’s genre in the country has never been child’s play. Major networks have fought each other to remain ahead and with summer holidays on, the battle only intensifies.

 

Krishna Desai

The Turner network which has two children’s channels – Cartoon Network and Pogo – to its credit is going all out to be on top. So, what has been their secret to lure children to their channels? “As such there is no recipe or element for success, but over the years, our experience in the genre has taught us what appeals to kids. The key is to provide the ultimate entertainment experience that meets the needs of kids,” says Krishna Desai, Senior Director & Network Head – Kids, South Asia, Turner International India Pvt Ltd.

 

Their show Chhota Bheem is the most popular TV choice for kids according to Ormax in the year 2012. The network feels that the reason it is the most popular character because children aspire to be a good-hearted superhero like Bheem. “Also, one cannot strike out another important element to ensure kids keep coming back to the same show again and again and that is – humour! It is for the above reasons that Tom and Jerry is a timeless show. It’s been going for over 70 years, but is still one of the most popular shows on television across the world,” says Mr Desai.

 

But today kids have a lot of options – shows on the internet, computer games etc – so what is the best way to keep the TG hooked? The network believes in giving kids the ultimate consumer experience. And, hence, engage kids across 360 degrees ensuring they are entertained at every touch point.

 

“On air, we periodically conduct innovative contests wherein kids who win are rewarded with prizes such as iPods, PSPs, etc. For instance, last year, we did a highly successful exam contest with Roll No. 21 around the exam time that was a stress buster for kids. Annually, Turner conducts on-ground events for both, Cartoon Network and Pogo,” explains Mr Desai.

 

Through their School Contact Programs, the network has increased the reach to over 1 million kids between Cartoon Network and Pogo. “These SCPs provide an excellent platform for our advertisers as well to interact with the end consumer,” adds Mr Desai.

 

And considering the growth in popularity of mobile and internet platforms among kids, the network has also leveraged all their popular shows across these mediums. “Our strategic efforts of providing innovative games to kids across our websites and mobile applications have enabled us to make cartoonnetworkindia.com and pogo.tv the leading kids’ websites in the country with each site receiving over 5 lakh unique viewers per month. The Ben 10: Xenodrome mobile game that was launched a few months ago has got over a million downloads in India,” says Mr Desai.

 

The network feel that digitization will bring about the biggest change to the broadcast industry including the kids’ genre. “With phase 2 under way, it will be interesting to see the level of STB and satellite penetration, thereby determining reach of all channels. It will also help broadcasters get a better understanding of the content consumption by audiences which in turn will enable broadcasters to deliver content better attuned to consumer demand. Digitization will also determine the effectiveness of the current revenue model. The current ad-driven model under-values and under-prices the kids’ genre. With a subscription based revenue model, broadcasters will hopefully receive a fair share of the revenue pie,” Mr Desai explains.

 

So where does the network see the genre in the next few years? It feel that the growth of multi-TV households in India is also boosting the growth of the kids’ genre. And the demand from kids to be able to consume content ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ will lead to broadcasters aggressively focusing on delivering quality non-linear content.

 

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