Spike in viewership doesn't translate into growth in ad revenue for kids genre

Though the kids' broadcasters were already preparing for the summer content line up, the early planning since the beginning of the year has helped them to function smoothly

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: May 11, 2020 9:43 AM

Apart from news and movies, the third genre that is contributing to the all-time high total viewership across India during this lockdown is the kids' genre.

This year, the lockdown had led to the early summer vacations for the school-going kids. It started in March and could go on till June end. During vacation time, kids channels witness spike both in viewership and advertising revenue. This time, channels are witnessing doubling of viewership as compared to previous year’s summertime, but sadly similar trends don’t reflect in the advertising revenue for the channels.

As per the recent BARC- Nielsen report of week 17, kids genre remained the key driver of the total growth with 42% as compared to Pre-COVID-19 period i.e. Week 2 to Week 4 (11 Jan to 31 Jan ). As compared to week 2-4, the genre saw an increase in viewership in week 11 and continued to stay stable till week 17.

Viacom18 Hindi Mass Entertainment & Kids TV Network Head, Nina Elavia Jaipuria said, “The last six weeks of lockdown from week 11-17, the category has seen 40% growth versus the pre-COVID times. The category witnesses an 18-20% growth at the summer-time and this time, the growth is doubled, which clearly indicates how much kids are watching kids channels.

“The franchise which includes Nick, NickHD, Sonic and NickJr has seen a growth of 31% and it has come from both reach and time spent as well. Nickelodeon has been the number one channel in the kids' genre for six years and we have 18-20% market share whereas number two has anything between 10-12%. Unlike GECs, kids genre has no prime-time but during COVID, the category has seen a lot of growth in viewership in morning slot post 9 am and a lot of growth has been coming from 9 am-2 pm time slot. In the morning time band, the kids' category has grown maximum.”

Viacom18’s kids' entertainment channels, Nick and Sonic, offer new stories across kids’ favourite shows on the channels such as Motu Patlu and Rudra on Nick and Ninja Hattori and Pakdam Pakdai on Sonic.

Though the kids' broadcasters were already preparing for the summer content line up, the early planning since the beginning of the year has helped them to function smoothly. Unlike GECs, where broadcasters are counting on the repeat telecast, kids channels have been airing original content since March and have announced their new content line-up. Jaipuria further said, “We are perhaps the few categories which are actually showcasing a lot of new content. We have launched new content in April and will continue to bring more content till June because that was the part of the summer plan.”

Other broadcasters like Disney India, Discovery Kids, Warner Media, Sony Yay too have already launched fresh episodes and are planning to increase more. The channels are not engaging kids with new shows but also with content and summer campaigns that have been planned for them. For instance, Nick has started #HomeokPlease. This campaign comes to life on social media through posts, videos, memes, gifs. Nickindia.com has put up a host of games of Rudra, Motu Patlu, Shiva to name a few in addition to some wonderful DIY videos and formats that kids can engage with and feel occupied.

Similarly, Sony YAY allows kids to also engage with their favourite toons across multiple digital initiatives. The network launched its first-ever digital IP – YAY! Summer Camp which included a huge bank of videos that will have various topics like Art and craft, Zumba Storytelling amongst many others for kids to have fun while they learn. The other workshops include Summer camps with yoga expert Sakshi Kharbanda, gardening pro Smita Kharbanda, India’s first Zumba education specialist Sucheta Pal, Science workshop expert Shashank Karam and storytelling by Devaki from Little Readers' Nook.

Leena Lele Dutta, Business Head, Sony Pictures Networks India, Kids’ Genre said, “The category has definitely grown during time 5-7% from last year to this time but we should see some stabilization in certain markets by May end. From the content side, we are able to put our fresh content and movies on the channel on time. We will continue to air new content for the next 2-3 weeks more. Our summer plan remains as it is like we mentioned earlier.”

As per the BARC data, the FCT for kids genre remains stable over four weeks (starting from week 14-17). The last three weeks that week 15-17, the FCT remained the same at 6 lakh seconds. As per the media planners, the category is growing in terms of viewership but the same is not reflecting on the advertising trends. The advertising continues to remain under-indexed for the genre.

Jaipuria said, “Our platforms are quite in demand and we are inviting advertisers to our platforms because we know we not only have kids but adults too, since co-viewing has increased during this period. We can add to the frequency of any advertiser’s plans. We are not able to optimise our revenue as we would have in any summertime but we are working with our long term partners from FMCG to F&B. We have also seen edutech partners come on board as well.”

The week 16 data shows that the top ten advertisers for kids genre were Reckitt Benckiser, HUL, Colgate, Abott, ITC, GSK, Flipkart, Thinl&Learn Pvt, GCMMF and P&G.

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