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Changing dynamics in consumption of kids content

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MUMBAI: Producing content to consume for today’s kids is no child’s play. Data and trends on kids content consumption across media-electronic and print goes a long way in impacting decisions made by commissioning editors and TV programmers. A panel at the just concluded FICCI Frames 2015 titled “Decoding Kids’s Content Consumption” presented such data and trends.

On the panel were Eurodata TV Worldwide International senior sales manager Eric Lentulo, Viacom 18 Media EVP and GM Sonic and Nickelodeon India Nina Jaipuria, BARC chief business officer Romil Ramgarhia, IMRB International group business director Ashish Karnad and Stratagem Media CEO Sundip Nagpal. The session was moderated by FICCI AVGC Forum chairman Ashish Kulkarni. 

Lentulo shared some crucial insights from various reports of studies conducted by the company. He said that kids in Asia were viewing less amount of kids content as compared to their US and European counterparts with an average viewing daily time of 2:32 minutes. In Germany, sports worked best for kids with nearly 95 per cent of the kids under the research having watched the FIFA World Cup Final. In Canada, the Super Bowl brought in large traction kids viewers. “Kids are watching content on smart phones as well as tablets but television is the firsts screen for children,” Lentulo observed. 

Providing an Indian perspective, Nagpal said, “Younger kids spend just 30 per cent of their time watching kids channels in India, 35 per cent of GEC content, and the remaining 30 per cent of other content.” He went on add that TAM data showed that young mothers spend just six per cent of their time watching the content viewed by their wards. “The kids genre is popular across metros and one million plus towns and even in towns with population less than one lakh people. While Maharashtra and Gujarat were well performing markets for the genre, Kerala is missing out on children’s content.”

On the other hand, as per Karnard’s study in 2013, two out of three kids seek entertainment primarily to reduce stress and tension from studies. The second primary reason was to seek information. “Three out of the four kids prefer watching content in Hindi rather than in English, while they love animated characters that help others. When they are alone, they would use mobile phones and computer games, they would utilise television to watch music and shows. On the other hand, when in company of their friends and family, they would play outdoor sports and watch movies and sports on television,” Karnard stated.

Having the last word on the subject, Jaipuria said, “While kids today are consuming content on various devices, TV is here to stay for a while.” According to her, kids latched on to television for two reasons: 1) They were terribly bored and seek it as a form of entertainment value. 2) They wanted an escape route where they are able to run from a competitive world to one of fantasy. “Animation is the only medium that can transform them to an imaginative world,” she added.

Highlighting an important point from the perspective of a kid’s broadcaster, she said that they were a safe genre and hence parents trusted the network for its content. Storytelling too was crucial along with quality dubbing and environmental sounds that together made up for solid content. “The primary factor that drives this category is the element of fun and being mischievous and kids are looking for honest values,” she said.

The other elements that children looked for in a character were looks (dressing, style and smile), fantasy (talking about gadgets) and values that the characters stood up for. Throwing light on whether language made a difference, Jaipuria said, “It is the character, bond and relationships which brings them to TV. Language only breed familiarity. Local content is currently edged out because we started off late.”

For the category that is growing at nine per cent and sees under two per cent ad revenue, Jaipuria informed that with carriage fees going down and subscription going up, there was space for further segmentation.

Ramgarhia added that with the coming of BARC, the audience measurement platform would cover everything that India watched including the rural markets. “As more segmentation takes place, a lot of thrust will be placed on kids channels. Nine is the new 14,” he said, adding that moving ahead it would be their endeavour to expand the panel that monitors channels.

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