The first six months of 2005 saw the presence of seven TV channel players in the kids’ genre. As opposed to other genres that see more fragmentation than growth with new players, the kids’ segment has seen more growth than fragmentation.
Kids' genre – more growth than fragmentation
The presence of seven channels in the kids’ genre as against the initial two channels scene raised questions of space. A close look at TAM Media Research numbers in 2005 (January-June) shows that these channels have found their space – growing the genre on the whole.
In terms of channel share, the genre has seen an increase in 2005. From over a 7 per cent share of the television market, kids channels on the whole, easily moved between the 10 per cent and 12 per cent marks towards the end of the first half of the year.
Giving a perspective here, C V L Srinivas, MD, Maxus, Asia Pacific, said, “Kids are spending less time viewing mass channels, this drop could be translating to more viewing of kids channels.”
Adding to this, Anshuman Misra, MD, Turner International India Pvt Ltd, said, “Channels like POGO have fuelled the growth in the Indian kids' TV segment. This is further supported by the fact that, given that kids view nine times more of non-kids channel – POGO beats genres such as sports, Hindi-News, English News, Music, English movies and English entertainment channels – considering that each genre on an average has seven competing channels!”
Walt Disney Television International’s Tushar Shah added, “We entered the Indian market with less than 10 per cent of kids’ time being spent on kids channels. Some reasons behind that was that the existing content purely addressing the 4 to 14 year-olds as one segment, there was dearth of kid appropriate and family inclusive movies, lack of pre-school content that kids enjoyed and families trust and shortage of local original content for kids. The scene has changed with the entry of channels like Disney Channel and Toon Disney.”
Even as the players are sure that the coming on relevant content has increased the delivery of the genre, media watchers like Srini believed that there was still more that could come from these channels.
According to him, “The new channels haven't got too many unique viewers as yet. Due to problems like distribution, we now have a ‘problem of plenty’ as far as TV channels go. There still is a clear time lag between what channels do and the effect it will have on viewership and revenue numbers.”
Kids' channels report card
Cartoon Network (CN) is the undeniable leader in the slot and has seen some amount of loss in the year in regards to the relative channel share for the CS 4-14 in the all India market. TAM Media research indicates that while the channel began with an easy stay above the 60-per cent market share mark, going forward, it continually drops.
From week 8 onwards, the channel has largely moved in between the 50 per cent and 60 per cent region, largely dominated by the early 50 percentages, towards the end of the first half, it even comes below the 50 per cent area.
While this is the case for CN, for POGO, the run has been a smoother one. The channel has gathered more shares in the genre. Until week 10, it took 20 per cent or less of the market share and the picture has been a wavy one until week 17, but week 18 onwards the graph keeps increasing giving the channel a 25-30 per cent control of the kids market.
Turner is content. Said Misra, “We are the resident kids’ expert and have our fingers on the pulse of Indian kids. We know what works with them and how to fulfill their entertainment needs. The key ingredient of our success is our content, innovative marketing initiatives and the balance we offer kids in terms of international and local content, animation and live-action and the fact that we have something for every kid.”
Throwing more light on the loss that CN had seen, he said, “Any category in its growth phase is bound to show some signs of fragmentation – same is the case with the Indian kids’ television genre. But the interesting and positive aspect of this growth is that CN and POGO are driving this growth in the kids’ space. Despite the choice available today, CN has maintained its top position for over a decade!”
The clear third player is Hungama TV. The channel has lived a more or less vertical graph in the first six months. Until week 17, the relative channel share for Hungama barely crosses the 10-per cent mark. Following this, the channel has managed to increase to 11 and 12 percentages.
The next is Disney Channel (DC) and in the period till week 13, it does appear that the channel would have overtaken Hungama TV. DC has seen a growth graph in the beginning of the year – moving from almost nothing to take 10 per cent share. However, week 11 onwards, the curve is a slightly downward one – keeping the channel at an average 5 per cent relative channel share.
Toon Disney Channel (TDC) plays on a little lower ground than Nick. TDC manages an average 3 per cent share of the kids market.
“We are quite happy with our performance in the last five months. We have more than quadrupled our viewership since January 2005. These are early days for us and we expect it to get into full steam hereon. An example can be drawn from our on-air contest - Heroes 4 Aladdin. The contest received 176,000 entries for a three-week period,” said Shah.
With the exception of periods like week 13 to week 19, wherein Nick is the clear number five player with over a 4 per cent share, the channel sees a neck-to-neck competition with TDC. Animax hasn’t managed to see too many changes in its graph playing in decimal shares.