We don't want to push ads on kids: Vinoth Chandar CEO,ChuChuTV
Chandar tells exchange4media that the brand’s increasing popularity around the world has propelled them to dive into the business of creating consumer products.
Having received the renowned ‘Diamond Play Button’, recognition from YouTube, for surpassing 10 million subscribers with only 154 videos in 4 years, ChuChu TV seems to have wielded rhyme and reason to conquer YouTube and charted its path to be the third most subscribed YouTube channel in India. We chatted with Vinoth Chandar, Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director, ChuChuTV who revealed how the brand’s popularity has propelled them to dive into the business of creating consumer products. Edited excerpts:
Q) How has the journey been and what were the initial challenges you faced?
Being from the IT industry, we were relatively new to the media industry but the first video itself picked up very well. Within two weeks we got more than three lakh views which gave us the confidence to invest. I have always been of the belief that video is the future. After the success of the first video, I discussed with my partners and it inspired us to come up with our second video which again did very well. With just two videos, we have fetched up to 5,000 subscribers. I believe that we started at the right time when there were only a few American channels that time for kids. We created content that could be accepted globally. People who are starting now are finding it tough to pave a path because there is so much competition right now. You see hundreds of videos on the same nursery rhyme come up, so it is difficult to get noticed. When we were starting off, there were a few quality channels for kids, so we saw the opportunity and grabbed it which helped us take it to the next level. It has been four years and so we want to master the content in English and only then move to regional.
Q) What do you think is the key to acing kid-friendly content?
It’s about attractive colours, lyrics, characters, and music. It is a combination of everything. We take our time to work out all these aspects because a combination of all these play a vital role. We are rewriting the lyrics to original songs to attract the kids. We also do music that is peppy. There are already successful characters like the ones from Disney which are a part of the market. So we take a cue and get inspired. Do colourful backgrounds and pick up the right mix of vibrant colours. So it’s all about acing this whole package.
Q) How have you been addressing the monetisation aspect?
Right now, the monetization has been through ads and videos wherein whatever revenue we generate, YouTube takes 45% and gives us 55%. That’s our monetization model. We have also worked with Amazon Prime for a money guarantee deal. There are many networks and connections that have proposed to work with us on the broadcast level in US, UK, India, among others. We are looking at the options and figuring out.
Q) Tell us about your marketing strategy and the impressions fetched by your main channel?
We don’t have a specific strategy but have a Facebook fan page and have close to 2.5 million fans and we engage them on an everyday basis by posting articles and videos. We have a community which is really growing and that is our main strategy. The main channel of nursery rhymes has scored 12.5 million subscribers and 11.5 billion views. It is growing to 450-500 million views per month.
Q) How are you looking to synergize and address the consumer end-to-end?
Basically, we have tied up with a company named DreamTheatre for merchandise. Kids love our characters so we want to tap on to it. Also, we get thousands of comments everyday on YouTube so our team moderates that. There is a lot of trolling and some people even post bad words so we make sure to moderate that and respond to the good comments. It’s about our fans and we make sure that we give them what they want.
Q) Why did you decide to go with the no-brand integration policy and has it worked in your favour?
Yes, because it is kids so we don’t find it right to have any kind of advertisements. We have been getting so many Indian as well as international requests. The problem is that ours is a global brand so we don’t want to push an Indian brand to the US and an international brand to India. Also, kids watching our channels are less than five years of age so we don’t want to push any kind of ads on them. We keep away from products placements or sponsorship opportunities too in that content.
Q) Any licensing plans in the pipeline? What is the way ahead for you’ll?
We are in the process of a licensing deal for the next year which we want to take slow. Roughly by mid or end of next year, you could expect a merchandise business.
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