Disney channel has the vote of confidence from parents: Anuradha Aggarwal

Aggarwal, Head -Infotainment & Kids, Star & Disney India, talks about their new show Imagine That

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: Aug 28, 2020 9:08 AM  | 5 min read

The kids genre witnessed an increase in TV viewership in the last few months due to lockdown and summer vacation. As per the BARC India data, the category's viewership grew to 9% as compared to 7% in pre-COVID times. As per the recent report of BARC India- Nielsen, Kids genre viewership, after peaking to 9% share, has stabilized to pre-COVID levels.

Disney Channel on Thursday announced the launch of its new show- Imagine That. The show is a Disney Channel DIY property that aims to inspire kids and families with upcycling as a theme. Starting frrom September 6 at 9.30 am, Imagine That, which will be aired every Sunday, aims to encourage kids and families to imagine, create, explore and have fun with DIY.

Speaking about the show and the channel's viewership, Anuradha Aggarwal, Head - Infotainment and Kids, Star & Disney India, shared, “Disney Network has had a very exciting time in the recent few months. While the kids genre has upped viewership by 25%, we have grown viewership by over 40%, making Disney Network one of the most preferred destinations for kids across India, especially in the last few weeks. We have a great lineup of new shows, about 100 hours of which we have launched in the last few months, including shows like Bapu on Disney Channel in May and Guddu on Disney and Hungama TV also in May. We have launched Gadget Guru Ganesha on Disney Channel in August and now we are launching our exciting show Imagine That.”

Talking about the show further, she added, “We believe that kids have a natural desire to grow and they are constantly looking to create. This new show will inspire them to create more by upcycling products through DIY. With fabulous partners and sponsors like Cello ColorUp, Byju’s and Savlon, we believe that we have a property that will stay in consumers mind and as well as in the child's imagination for a long time to come.”

Aggarwal shared that with the launch of the new show, the channel is targeting a very large band including both younger and older kids. “We believe that Disney is a family entertainment channel and it is targeted at younger kids who might be watching it with their parents and older kids who might do it themselves. We do target kids and our whole idea is to bring very interesting storytelling formats to children, but we are very aware of the fact that there is a lot of co-viewing happening along with children.”

Sharing her perspective as an advertiser, Aggarwal explained, “As an advertiser, most of the time I bought a genre for its numerical delivery, and I think that a kids genre should be targeted for its numerical delivery. It does well for the aggregated audience as well as for the kids audience. There are two kinds of categories: one which talks directly to kids and another where kids can be influencers. I think both categories can find value in the genre.”

Now that fresh content is back on GECs and data has shown that kids do watch GEC content with their parents, how do they plan to retain the viewership? “This is a very interesting context that we see relative to what might be happening in the GEC world. We launched new and fresh content through this time when other channels were unable to. We just have to work harder to retain our high viewership. We have new seasons of Baapu and Bhagam Bhaag coming up. So, a child will find interesting content on our channel and that's how we are going to maintain our high viewership levels.”

Disney has always been a safe destination that kids love and parents trust. Aggarwal believes Imagine That is only an extension of that promise. Simple aspects like their safety while using scissors while making the DIY art have been integrated within the show, she says.

The set, environment and design of the show is very artsy, catchy and attractive. Innovative objects like Trashinator (a robot lookalike that pops out trash which is then upcycled by Rob) and Pinger (a hand gadget that pops out messages from kids who want Rob to help them out) have been made an integral part of the segments within the show.

While mentioning the key factors that have led to the growth during the lockdown, Aggarwal feels similar factors will drive the growth for kids genre in next few months . “When it comes to entertainment, kids tend to gravitate towards (content that is) familiar as well as exciting and relevant. What we have seen on Disney channel is a vote of confidence from parents as they find the environment safe. There is a lot of content available online but there is limited access, and television is easier to access. And that's why I believe TV will continue to have or maintain this viewership for sometime.”

She further added, “The similar factors- that we will have more time on our hands and that they are watching TV as they are unable to go out and not able to do things which normally they would do-- will continue to drive growth in viewership or maintain it where it is right now. It will also be a new content that will come on the back of the festive season. We are seeing that while the increase may be related to things that have happened in the last four-five months, but I believe that festivals will also have a higher viewership just like it did in normal times.“

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