Manufacturers and producers are always on the lookout for newer revenue streams for their products. Licensing and merchandising of animated characters have become the norm today, and with the industry reaching a worth of a few billion dollars in a market like the US, possibilities have opened up, and everyone wants a piece of the pie.
The animation track at FICCI Frames 2008 saw industry experts from all the allied segments come together on a common platform to debate on the good, bad and ugly sides of ‘Revenue streams in Animation’. Moderating the session, Jiggy George, Executive Director, Cartoon Network Enterprises, India and South Asia, gave the rundown of the various revenue generating opportunities and stressed that “all properties do not necessarily translate into licensing models”. Observing that people were overestimating the revenues from theatrical productions, he also emphasised the need to have a revenue proposition in place while visualising the property.
Pointing out that licensing was not a magic formula, Dean Koocher, MD, Honest Entertainment, talked about how different properties had different lifecycles and the increasing opportunities for licensing outside television. “One of the important keys to success is to have great strategic partners who can help to extend the brand identity,” he noted.
Meanwhile, in his presentation, Munjal Shroff, COO, Graphiti Multimedia, observed that for a television property, it would take 6-18 months for licensing to actually kick in and make enough revenues. “In the wake of multiple opportunities springing up and different mediums being used for them, it is vital to maintain consistency of the property. A style guide is necessary in such circumstances, which will present the property across all possible mediums,” elaborated Shroff.
Talking about the Indo-Canadian partnerships in the animation space, Derek Reeves, Asia Pacific Representative, Corus-Nelvana, Canada, noted that great content was of vital importance for a property to succeed. Presenting a licensee’s point of view, Uday Mathur, CEO, Eurokids/Egmont, gave some of the downsides of the model and pointed out that relationships between licensor and licensees had to be long term to ensure better results. Giving a ring side view of the industry, Nagarajan Subramaniam, Managing Partner, En Theos Consulting, was of the opinion that only revenue maximisation was not a good long-term plan.