Flashback 2014: "In the future there is no stopping us" Nina Jaipuria

While the ad cap has been a bane for many broadcasters, there are some for whom the ad cap has worked. The kids genre has been and is still an under-indexed category according to Nina Elavia Jaipuria, EVP & Business Head – Kids Cluster, Viacom 18

e4m by Collin Furtado
Updated: Dec 30, 2014 8:56 AM
Flashback 2014: "In the future there is no stopping us" Nina Jaipuria

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, EVP & Business Head – Kids Cluster, Viacom 18 says that an increase in ad rates has facilitated revenue growth. Considering that the 12 minutes ad cap means limited inventory, advertisers will also have to pay a premium for the same. In an exclusive interview with exchange4media, Jaipuria shares the key highlights for the industry in 2014 and the growth the genre and the channel saw during the year and categorically says “In the future there is no stopping us.”   

What were the key highlights of the broadcast industry in 2014?

From an industry perspective one is of course that digitization finally took off, the fact it differed is a different matter. But the fact that 70-75 per cent of the country today is digitized is a big thing going forward. Of course, the 12 min ad cap came into being as well and to me that is very good thing in the long term for both viewers as well as for the broadcast industry. That to me is a highlight in terms of a long term balance for the industry.

What was the growth of the genre during the year 2014?

For the period of April-November 2013 to April-November 2014 the category witnessed a 7 per cent growth, most of it fuelled by Nickelodeon which grew by over 20 per cent.  With 20 per cent growth on Nickelodeon and 200 per cent growth on Sonic, the category seems to be fuelled by the Nickelodeon franchise. This is good news for us because that is what we intended to do. We had lost our No.1 position and it took us just 2 years to launch new content like Motu Patlu that has, in a short span, established a connect with our viewers and helped us regain our No 1 Position.  

The ad sales for the category is growing at about 14-15 per cent, these are approximate figures but what seems to be a happy moment for the Nickelodeon as a franchise is that we have kind of surpassed that number. We are actually growing faster than the category, hence fuelling the category growth revenue as well. There are two reasons for this, one is of course that the 12 minute ad cap fuels the shortage of inventory which in turn increase the ad rates.

But, the other thing that helped us was the growth of Sonic and the No.1 rank for Nickelodeon, and we were able to match the ratings growth with the revenue growth. That is the story which I think every broadcaster loves to tell.  Increase in ad rates has facilitated revenue growth.

Considering that the 12 minutes ad cap means limited inventory, advertisers will also have to pay a premium for the same.  However the moot point is that irrespective of revenue growth the genre continues to be under-indexed. We still continue to have 9% of the viewership on a C&S 4+ audience but we have less than 2 per cent of the ad pie.  We are however committed to correcting this disparity.  Other than increase in ad rates, one more way of correcting this under indexations is to go beyond mere FCT sale. The non-FCT customizations are a win-win for all the stake holders including the advertisers since they drive affinity with the viewer for the advertiser brands/ products in a novel way. 

What are the things that your channels did differently this year?

We have a large risk appetite, all of the stuff that we did today was pioneered and never been done before, so we have challenged the norms. When we launched Motu Patlu it was a big risk and I can now tell you because it is all fine and is looking good but there is no child protagonist on that show. Have you seen any show which has no child protagonist? Whether it is Dora, Chota Bheem, Doremon, Ninja Hattori or Pokemon there are kids. This is one show which has only adults.

We wanted to make it happen, that is innovation to the core because you have to put your money where your mouth is, that is what we did. Of course we took it out of the comic book and totally changed it to make it more relevant and contemporary. Even the stories are all new aged.

Even with Pakdum-Pakdai come to think of it no one has made a chase animation series before in India. That is also an innovation and as we said there is no point going to mythology or any other things which have been done to death.  There has been innovation from a Sonic perspective as well, nobody has come out and said action is not being served to children let’s give them action. When you have action on gaming, then why not on broadcast? That is why the whole action concept came in and then we saw Kungfu Panda as a franchise which is comedy and action then we realized maybe there is a whole segment there that is waiting to go which therefore makes Sonic now action and comedy and we have a fine balance.

What is the growth that you are looking at in brand extensions?

It enables you to be flexible in what you do. You get into brand extensions and can do it from anything from making movies to getting on to digital in terms of games and apps to consumer products and merchandise and like I said in the future there is no stopping us. We can do hotels, theme parks, and more.  At the core we are entertainers and engagers and if we tell the story right with characters that kids love then we can do what we want to do. That is the idea of building the whole ecosystem and it also works for a broadcaster as creates an additional revenue stream for us. So it works for children and works for us.

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