'GEC is all about family viewing, we all come together and watch on the big screen'

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head-Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network, Viacom18, shares that the kids category is still under-indexed and a lot needs to change

by Sonam Saini
Published - April 20, 2023
5 minutes To Read
'GEC is all about family viewing, we all come together and watch on the big screen'

Viacom18 kids franchise Nickelodeon is gearing up for the summer season. The channel recently announced two new IPs, Abhimanyu Ki Alien Family on Nick and Kanha –Morpankh Samrat on Sonic, along with its new summer line-up.

The network claims that Nickelodeon enjoys a cumulative share of 31 per cent within the genre, with Nick leading the category for nine consecutive years. In terms of ad revenue share in the kids category, the franchise stands at 36 per cent. The category contributes around Rs 400- 450 crore to the overall TV AdEx pie.

According to Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network, Viacom18, the total TV viewership for the kids genre (2+) was around 6-7% a few years ago and remains the same now. Even among kids, it was 13%-14%, and this has not altered.

Talking about how the channel keeps the kids interested in its content despite there being so many options available with them to watch content on multiple platforms, Jaipuria says that despite the fragmentation and choices that children have today, they realise that the content given on the kids genre or on Nickelodeon is tailored for them. “We have continued to generate content that will intrigue and entertain them, and they know exactly where to go if they are bored. Also, repetition in the kids genre is extremely important. This is because of two reasons-one is of course that animation has a very short shelf life and is evergreen. However, the more kids hear the narrative, the more soothing it becomes for them. As a result, they return.”

Jaipuria believes that it's more important that kids consume content anywhere they want, hence they are making it available across platforms. “While we are available on Nickelodeon, we are also available on other platforms if they do not wish to come for appointment viewing. For instance, they can watch us on Voot Kids, as well as other online platforms. So, it's about wanting to immerse yourself in the beloved characters. And therefore, in my opinion, cord-cutting is here to stay, as are devices, small screens and big screens. But the truth is that when kids get home from school, they want to watch TV.”

Jaipuria doesn't believe in a debate about TV vs Digital. “I believe there is a '&' approach here that states that the heart of what we do is to create these lovely characters and tell these fantastic stories. Kids are welcome to come in and watch them whenever they want.”

According to Pitch Madison Advertising Report, the genre contributes Rs 450-500 crore to the overall TV AdEx. Jaipuria, however, believes that the genre is extremely under-indexed. “It's not even 2 per cent. It was 0 per cent earlier but we have come a long way to take it to 2 per cent.”

“The channel (Nickelodeon) leads the ad revenue share in the category at 36% which means that we get a lot more than what we are delivering in terms of GRPs. But there is a lot to change. There is this certain threshold that advertisers want to pay us for. Also, we are a reach medium and a frequency builder, and how much you want to spend on the frequency medium is also what goes into creating that media plan.”

While the network is still in the process of closing sponsors for its upcoming new IPs, Jaipuria shared that they are selling inventory for the summer line-up as a franchise. "On the channel, advertisers normally come as a whole for summer. So it's not like they come for just a specific show unlike GEC where advertisers want to spend on one specific show. Hence, the channel is sold as a channel and not as a slot."

Speaking on the ad rates she said, "I would love to get far more because we have a reach higher than a lot of other genres but we don't get paid what we deserve. But like I said, over the years, and because I've seen the space grow, of course, we've moved into a trajectory where advertisers are now willing to pay us good money, but not the best."

She further added, "Also when you're at the pole position, you're able to command a premium, and you're able to command far more than what you deserve. Because you have proved yourself at the pole position year after year, advertisers just know there's going to be a delivery here. We are the highest reach franchise anyway. So the pole position helps to get the premium and advertisers are willing to pay extra for leading channels."

This is the first time the network has decided to air a series for kids on other channels within the network. Jaipuria refused to share the channel names but hinted that they might air it on the network's Hindi GEC channels as well.

"The subject matter is such that it is conducive to family viewing, I just think that it is a far more relatable topic. And rather than being passive viewers, parents and grandparents will actually become captive viewers of the subject. We believe that the way we've curated the stories and the way we're telling the stories are authentic. It will help us to create a certain bond with families. And I think, anyway, GEC is all about family viewing, we all come together and watch on the big screen. So I think that while it will work on kids channels, it will work equally well on GECs."

Starting April 24, 2023, ‘Abhimanyu Ki Alien Family’ will be aired from Monday to Friday at 12 noon on Nickelodeon. ‘Kanha – Morpankh Samrat’ will be aired from May-end on Sonic.