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Do kids of today prefer OTT over TV?

The average time spent on TV ranges from 35-60 minutes

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MUMBAI: There’s a tug of war going on today with both parties equally strong. On the one side, we have linear TV singing its praises and OTT on the other side glorifying its advantages.

No matter which side you pick, you’ll notice that kids’ content has always been sidelined. In its initial TV phase, kids’ content was loaded with syndicated programmes and it is only now that home-grown content is a part of it. This is because producing local content is more expensive than producing Hindi GECs. As per the 2018 KPMG report, the importance of the kids’ audience in Indian TV in the age group of 2-14 years accounted for 20 per cent of all TV impressions in 2017 with a high stickiness for the above mentioned target audience, with average time spent ranging from 35-60 minutes. Moreover, as per reports, industry experts believe that owning IPs and localisation of content is going to be a way forward for the category which is expected to grow by 10-14 per cent in 2018.

As per Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data, 29 per cent of kids like watching Hindi GECs, followed by 18 per cent for Hindi movies and only 11 per cent kids consume kids’ channels. This could be due to parallel viewing that is done by kids while parents watch other channels. But, in the last two years, kids’ channels have observed a hike in the time spent by kids despite the fact that kids spend 26 per cent of their time on Hindi GECs. Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam are the regional languages that work quite well in the kids' segment.

Coming back to digital trends, as per the report, 57 per cent of parents say that their child prefers a device other than the TV to watch video content. Mobile devices offer versatility, simple user interface and a ‘personal’ viewing experience. Also, nearly 50 per cent of parents say that when their kids misbehave, to punish them, they take away their tablet and make them just ‘watch TV instead’– creating a generation of kids for whom ‘TV is punishment.’ When the parents’ favourite shows are on such as the IPL, the remotes are automatically snatched away from kids and replaced with smartphones. These phones hold a wider world of content for kids right from Netflix to Amazon to YouTube Kids.

Kids’ eagerness has also fuelled the digital content market with new dedicated platforms being launched for them. In 2016, nexGTv launched ‘nexGTv Kids’ app with videos and infotainment for kids. Later on, Viacom18’s Voot built a strong vertical around kids followed by YouTube’s YouTube Kids in partnership with ChuChuTV, Toonz Animation, Sesame Workshop and Appu Series in India. Sony LIV too introduced its new platform LIV Kids in Hindi and English.

However, as per the KPMG report, 97 per cent of children still prefer television over other digital media. As compared to kids’ TV channels, digital has emerged stronger in the past few years due to convenience and availability. So, the tug of war goes on for now with both sides tugging equally.

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