The Hindu Business Line

No kidding: OTT firms serious about content for tots

Companies say growing preference for digital necessitat­es investment­s in the category

- BINDU D MENON

At a time when children learn sooner to swipe than to walk, over-the-top (OTT) players are leveraging kids content to boost traffic.

Despite monetisati­on still being a far cry, companies say that growing preference for digital is necessitat­ing them to make investment­s in the category to engage with a young audience as they make a switch from a linear to a non-linear platform.

Several key players in the business, including Viacom18-owned Voot, SPN-promoted Sony LIV and aggregator­s such as nexGTv, are developing original content and even unique content tie-ups to sway young adults.

Voot recently rolled out a hidecibel marketing campaign for its kids service. With 1,750 hours of content and 7,000 videos, Voot Kids claims to have curated the largest digital repository of premium kids content.

The company, which has garnered more than 10-million app downloads, says kids content will be a key differenti­ator for it and a significan­t driving force behind its viewership and user growth.

Peak viweing

Voot said that unlike the traditiona­l, linear from of content consumptio­n (TV), wherein the peak viewing of kids content happens during early evening, Voot Kids witnesses a peak that coincides with the prime time on national GECs (general entertainm­ent channels), wherein the mobile device gets passed onto the kids as the parents take control over the TV remote.

Gaurav Gandhi, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures, said: “At 15 per cent share of the overall traffic, Voot Kids is a significan­t contributo­r to Voot’s growth. We feel this segment is only set to grow, both in size and influence.”

Sony LIV, too, recently launched LIV Kids, which offers content especially designed for children, and has over 100-plus videos, free of costs.

Uday Sodhi, Executive VicePresid­ent and Head – Digital Business, Sony LIV said: “Children make up 39 per cent of the Indian population and comprise a vital consumer segment with specific entertainm­ent requiremen­ts. We will be looking to add more content for kids on our platform in the near future.”

German kids television content leader Da Vinci Learning has also entered the India market with its very own OTT service.

Playing the ‘safe content’ card, Da Vinci Learning’s OTT play is banking on its reputation for curating kids-friendly and educationa­l IPs for its viewers.

Da Vinci Learning Marketing irector Monomita Mukhopadhy­ay said: “Kids no more stick to the flat screen and wait for programmes, rather they access content any time, anywhere and on multiple devices of their choice. OTT is expected to grow exponentia­lly in coming years, and India will be the secondlarg­est market in Asia Pacific.”

Partnershi­ps

YuppTV has associated with USP Studios to make the latter’s video content available on former’s Bazaar platform.

Uday Reddy, founder and CEO, YuppTV, said: “Kids are increasing­ly becoming smarter; hence, there is a need for high-quality, informativ­e, educative and entertaini­ng content for kids.”

Similarly, Subscripti­on-led video platform nexGTv has partnered with Mosquitoes Entertainm­ent Pvt Ltd, a platform dedicated to informativ­e content for children.

Abhesh Verma, COO, nexGTv, said: “Children today are increasing­ly attuned to digital devices. It is imperative for content creators and distributo­rs to provide edutainmen­t content tailored specifical­ly for them.” nextGTV said that children-centric content will be available as part of its paid packages.

Merchandis­e

Meanwhile, ChuChu TV, an Indian YouTube channel for toddlers, with over 6 billion views and 6 million subscriber­s, has partnered with entertainm­ent licensing firm Dream Theatre to launch a global consumer products business for the brand.

Dream Theatre is creating the brand architectu­re and making ChuChu TV “licence-ready”.

“The real-time feedback we receive from parents, points to a huge demand for merchandis­e of our key characters ChuChu and ChaCha,” said Vinoth Chandar, founder, CEO and Creative Director, ChuChu TV. “We felt this is the right time to enter the licensing arena and take our brand to the next level.”

 ??  ?? Kids no more stick to flat screens and wait for programmes, rather they access content any time, anywhere and on multiple devices S JAMES
Kids no more stick to flat screens and wait for programmes, rather they access content any time, anywhere and on multiple devices S JAMES

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