India is tailor-made for Discovery Kids: Rahul Johri

Discovery Networks’ Rahul Johri speaks about the challenge of entering the kids’ genre as well as Discovery Kids’ strong content strategy

e4m by Shree Lahiri
Updated: Aug 1, 2012 9:12 PM
India is tailor-made for Discovery Kids: Rahul Johri

With a view to refresh the kids’ genre, Discovery Kids has been launched. The eighth channel in Discovery India’s portfolio aims to deliver enriching, fun, transformative experience for kids. The channel faces some stiff competition from existing players such as Pogo, Hungama, Cartoon Network, Nick and Sonic, which have some of the most popular characters that kids love, such as Chota Bheem, Doraemon, and Astro Boy, among many others.

Rahul Johri, Senior Vice President and General Manager, South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, is upbeat about Discovery Kids and believes that its differentiated content will be able to win over a TG that is short on attention.

India as a market for Discovery Kids
Calling India an important part in of the network’s global plan, Johri pointed out that in eight years, Discovery had grown eight channels in the country. “If there’s any country tailor-made for this channel, it is India. We have 370 million kids in India in the age group of 4 to 14 years. 35 per cent of the population need differentiated content. Who was going to provide it? There was a gap and we endeavour to fulfill that,” he said. Discovery Kids aims to offer Indian children an entertaining way to satisfy their natural curiosity through its programming, developing their social, cognitive, emotional and personal skills.

The brand proposition
The brand proposition is to ignite the imagination and stimulate learning and fun. Discovery Kids’ target is children in the 4-11 year age group, with the core target being 5 to 9 years. The core values are – fun, smart (by giving creative surprises), transformative and learning.

The challenge of launching in the kids genre
Johri felt that the kids’ genre lacks variety of content, which Discovery Kids intends to fulfill. “We will present to the kids different shaded content. That is our strategy,” he shared. He further said that what kids are getting today by way of kids content are cartoons. At the same time he emphasised that “It’s not that there’s only work and no play, there’s more play here, but it is done intelligently. There’s no violence in the channel and that’s a major point.”

Programming profile
Speaking further on Discovery Kids’ content, Johri said that the programming will provide variety – adventure, history, nature, science and so on. There are programmes like ‘Kim’, Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Hero’, ‘Papyrus’, ‘Bindi the Jungle Girl’, ‘Sally Bollywood’, ‘The Legend of Enyo’, ‘Howzzattt’, ‘Dex Hamilton’ and ‘Wild Kratts’. The channel will have distinct morning, afternoon and evening viewing schedules keeping in mind the relevant viewer segments ranging from pre-schoolers to tweens. “We are working on India-specific shows too,” he added.

Drawing from the network’s 16-year experience in the Indian market with seven channels, Discovery will go the whole hog to promote its eighth channel in the country, which includes social media, ground activations and all that works. The Discovery Kids website will be launched next week.

Johri further said, “We have not opened the channel yet for ads, but since this channel addresses the kids’ segment, we are expecting advertisers who target kids to join in.”

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