Sony YAY!'s consolidation plan in regional markets

The channel has launched three movies of Honey Bunny for Diwali.

MUMBAI: As per BARC India data, Sony YAY! continues to remain in the top three positions for the past few weeks. In week 41 the channel grabbed second position with 87898 weekly impressions (000s). The channel says its extensive plan starting from Dussehra to New Year has been one of the reasons in getting the top-three position. As part of its plan, the channel is airing three new movies of Honey Bunny during Diwali and four movies to be launched during the Christmas–New Year period.

Sony YAY! launched Honey Bunny in Gangs of Filmcity on 6 October, Honey Bunny & The Cricket Gang on 13 October and Honey Bunny in a Crazy Family Adventure on 20 October.

In an interaction with Sony YAY! business head Leena Lele Dutta highlighted the factors that have propelled the growth of the channel. She said, “We are 30 months old in the market and we are one of the top three kids channels. The growth of the channel has been propelled by two reasons. The first is our content being available in seven regional languages and other reason is doubling the volume of our shows.”

She explained further, “We are actually catering to kids who consume content in regional languages on a day to day basis and affinity for them to see content in that language is even stronger as they are better able to identify with the characters. We have doubled the number of episodes of a show that has helped us to give fresh content on a regular basis. So, it’s a combination of regionalisation and airing new episodes at a rampant pace.”

Dutta also believes that ground marketing initiatives have also added to the growth. She said, “Our BTL initiative in our key market and our entire marketing push to connect with kids have helped us in getting the top three positions in the last 13 weeks.”

Dutta also revealed her plans for festive seasons. She said, “There are two times in a year which are critical. One is the summer season of April, May and June and the other one is festive season starting from Dussehra to New Year. It’s a long period where there are short bursts of holidays which comes in and out and that also varies from market to market. We started festive offering with Honey and Bunny’s new episodes and movies from Dussehra which will continue till Diwali and end with Christmas – New Year. So during each of those long holidays we introduced movies and new episodes of Honey Bunny ka Jholmaal.”

The channel will follow the same template for Diwali. Dutta informed that there will be three movies during the Diwali weekend and four during Christmas and New Year i.e. three of Honey Bunny and one of Kicko. They will be accompanied by below the line marketing activities such as Durga Puja pandal activation in Kolkata and Honey Bunny branded Dandiya in Ahmedabad and Surat.

“In Diwali, we plan to roll-out pan-India activation across almost 70 cities. We will be going below tier 2 and tier 3 cities because our content is available in the regional language for those markets. The popularity of our toons and the connection with them is much stronger there. We plan to continue with our movie-binge in December towards the last 10 ten days starting with Christmas till New Year. So, that’s how we have phased our offering. We don’t do an on air activation, we always combine it with our ground efforts and marketing initiatives,” Dutta said.

Dutta also informed that the channel will not have any new IPs for some time as it wants to focus on consolidating the present IPs. She said, “Right now we are consolidating our position in the regional market. If we look at the data in those individual markets, it says we have exclusive language feed. For example in Kerala we have exclusive feed in Malayalam, so no other kids channels have that, even in West Bengal and Maharashtra we are the number one channel in those markets. We have maintained that leadership for a very long time. Now to get into consolidating with our numbers and viewership in six markets is critical.”

Going further she said, “We are also doing a lot of initiatives with local cable operators in regional markets. We are offering contests via operators to kids to watch Honey Bunny and wins prizes. That’s basically our localisation plan. The more we spread out to getting into the markets where we have regional feeds, we see traction and growth. West Bengal, Maharashtra and Kerala are the states where we see major traction coming from.”

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