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Kids content growth is fastest in digital, and monetizing models need to keep up

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MUMBAI: ‘Kids content has already gone digital, catering to its target audience,’ was the unanimous consensus at a session on ‘Kids Go Digital’ at the ongoing FICCI Frames 2016

Unlike most discussions on digital media, there were no “if’s, ‘but’s and ‘maybe’s” and panelists -- Chuchu TV CEO Vinoth Chander, Godimensions’ founders Shravan and Sanjay Kumaran, Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal  and Viacom 18 Digital Ventures COO Gaurav Gandhi – discussed how to take digital kids content to the next level, expand its market in India and make the most of the resources and eyeballs at disposal. Whizkidz Media founder Amit Agarwal, moderated the panel discussion.

“Kids content growth is fastest in digital as its consumers are native to the medium. While you and I are adapting to the medium, they are born in the digital world and hence take naturally to it,” said Gandhi, adding that over the years the demography of kids born in the digital world will only grow.

Currently kids’ content on digital platform is mostly on YouTube which has a few issues. Firstly, there is hardly any premium kids content available in India, then there is a lack of character driven shows, and most of the content for children is targeted at preschoolers leaving out a huge chunk of the audience. Moreover, most of the viewership comes from foreign markets, and the market in India still needs to be developed.

Reflecting on how one markets kids content, Gandhi had a cryptic answer: “In their own language”. “You need to think like them and market your content on their own terms.”

Speaking from personal experience, Gandhi added that using TV as a medium is a good start, as a huge chunk of the audience is still on TV. “Sampling videos on YouTube, TV and even reaching out to them through schools and play schools is also a good way to understand them and share your content.”

As far as Chander was concerned, organic reach has worked wonders for him and his company ChuChu TV and he would vouch for strategically placed promotion within their own YouTube content. “We want to concentrate on quality content, rather than marketing as the former does the latter for us,” Chander said categorically. He also stressed that kids usually take more to visual content, and therefore propagating the message through videos and pictures would work better.

“Kids are smart,” said Agarwal on the topic of edutainment. “Do not trick them into consuming content that you sell as entertainment, which is actually educational and is meant for learning. You need to separate your own consumers from their parents.” To back his argument Agarwal narrated about his own failed experiment with a gaming app that was intended to teach mathematics to kids. “A minute into the game they figured that this was no game but a trick to teach them, and immediately they got disinterested. For them games is entertainment, and just that.”

The young entrepreneurs in the panel however differed. The Kumaran brothers said “Kids do like content that mirrors the teachings of their parents. Moreover, content that has an educational value that teaches a skill set like a programming code, or their everyday school syllabus with diagrams and videos, will work immensely well.”

 

Expectedly monetizing models came up when discussing content production and business opportunity. “Time spent on content is what advertisers swear by. If that is so, as per market insight, kids will spend more and more time on digital or second screens than on TV, it is already happening,” said Agarwal hinting that ad revenue on kids content on digital platform will only grow.

 

Gandhi shared another statistic from a BCG study: “Out of top 200 YouTube channels that garnered 10 billion views, 5 percent had kids content while 26 percent of the viewership came from children. It indicates that kids watch repeatedly, and they get obsessive over characters,” Gandhi said. Pointing out the simple demand supply ratio in economics, he added, “money will follow.”

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