A combination of compelling stories and beautiful animation helps Nickelodeon stand out

Nickelodeon franchise has been dominating the kids’ entertainment sector as the most preferred and No. 1 kids’ entertainment destination in India for four consecutive years by successfully identifying white spaces with a comprehensive content library of genre-defining IPs and innovations. The pioneering kids’ network continues to rule the roost, with Nick and Sonic offering the largest reach in the kid’s category with a reach of over 29 million and 24 million in FY 22-23, respectively.

Speaking about the Nickelodeon franchise leading the ladder, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network, Viacom18, said, “We have been on the top for nine consecutive years and we are here to stay. We started as a challenger brand and even though we are at the No. 1 position, we still are a challenger brand and that is what makes us different. Our DNA is about wanting to be very different, innovative, relatable, yet experimenting.”

She further stated that “As a franchise, we enjoy a reach of 44 million. By far we are the highest-reach drivers. And therefore, we also believe that advertisers love us because we deliver the maximum reach.”

Speaking about the overall performance, she noted, “This genre has been very volatile. We saw a surge in 2020, when there was a lockdown, then we saw a lean period, then we saw a surge again. But what is very encouraging is that in the last quarter of FY23, which is January, February, March, we have really seen a fantastic inflection. And that quarter has been very good. In fact, March has been 10% higher than the rest of the year. It’s a fantastic beginning, as far as we are concerned, for a great summer. In fact, March also delivered the highest average weekly reach, giving us hope that this genre will continue to evolve and capture the attention of audiences in new and exciting ways. We believe that this trend will persist and lead to further success in the future.”

Jaipuria further added, “When we look at overall TV for FY23, we noticed that the FCT is down by about 4%, but for the kids’ genre, magically, it’s up by 3%. Despite there being a decline in the overall FCT, the kids’ genre continues to attract advertisers, which are kid advertisers and non-kid advertisers to the genre because we have a whole lot of co-viewing on the channel. And it’s heartening to see that there are new ads, new clients as well as new categories that have come on board to sample the kids’ genre this year.”

Nickelodeon has a cumulative network share of 31% within the genre, with Nick leading the category for 9 consecutive years, in an ongoing effort to propel the kids' category with indigenous stories that are a product of insights, creative storytelling, great animation, and endearing Nicktoons such as ‘Chikoo aur Bunty’, ‘Happy & Pinaki - The Bhoot Bandhus’, ‘Motu Patlu’, ‘Shiva’, and ‘Rudra’. The kids’ franchise is gearing up to announce the introduction of two new IPs – ‘Abhimanyu Ki Alien Family’, which will commence from April 24, 2023 and air from Monday to Friday at 12 noon on Nick, and ‘Kanha - Morpankh Samrat’, which goes on air from May-end on Sonic – to further boost its content game and entice youngsters this summer.

On the two new shows, Anu Sikka, Head - Creative, Content & Research, Kids TV Network, Viacom18, shared, “To engage children, the stories and characters presented must be intriguing and relatable. The character of Krishna has maintained popularity over centuries and generations because he is a 12-year-old boy with extraordinary powers who serves as a friend, son, special friend of Radha, and an adorable figure in the entire village. When telling a story about Krishna, children don’t perceive him merely as a God, but rather as a hero to look up to, love, and adore. He is a saviour and embodies qualities that children aspire to have or find in a friend. This is why Krishna continues to captivate children and remains an enduring source of inspiration and fascination for generations.”

Sikka further added, “It is not just a kid’s show, but also a family subject. It is not that we don’t have co-viewing of parents and children on Nick channel, but this is a show which is not just going to be played on a Nick or Sonic channel and played on GEC channels as well. That is how we are envisioning it.”

Regarding ‘Abhimanyu ki Alien Family’, Sikka said, “Children have a strong fascination with characters such as aliens or ghosts. According to multiple research studies, if you ask children, they will often explain that attraction comes from the mystery of the unknown. This is how we developed the concept for ‘Abhimanyu Ki Alien Family’ – to capture this fascination with the unknown and create an engaging experience for children.”

Elaborating on how these IPs will strengthen the line-up for the kids’ genre in terms of revenue and viewership, Sikka said, “If the viewership goes up, hopefully the revenue goes up as well. March 2023 looks very positive both in terms of viewership and revenue. Nick has been No. 1 for nine years and we hope that with ‘Abhimanyu Ki Alien Family’ coming and joining other heroes of various other shows that we have on Nick, it further strengthens the position of Nick. With ‘Kanha – Morpankh Samrat’ coming on Sonic, we are hoping that we can further strengthen our position.”

“Our goal is to capture kids’ attention in this highly competitive market by offering new and interesting stories with high-quality animation. We believe that the combination of compelling stories and beautiful animation will help us stand out in the crowded market,” she further said.

Continuing further, she shared, “The kids’ entertainment market is highly competitive, with numerous options available not only on linear channels, but also on various digital platforms. Additionally, during summer vacations, there is even more noise as everyone tries to capture children’s attention. In this crowded space, we hope that our two unique shows can quickly capture kids’ attention and help us grow our viewership, ultimately resulting in increased revenue. We understand the importance of standing out in this competitive market and hope that our compelling content will make us stand out amidst the noise.”

“Although there are no significant changes, children will always seek out new and exciting content, including fresh stories, unique characters, and diverse animation styles. For example, anime has become a popular term among children, and we have noticed this trend. We have a lot of anime content on our digital platform, Voot Kids, and we plan to introduce it soon on our channels as well. By constantly updating and expanding our content, we aim to keep up with children's evolving preferences and offer them the latest and greatest in entertainment,” Sikka said.

“One of the key reasons for our success is our ability to identify and capture trends early, before they become popular among children. We strive to stay ahead of the curve and have incorporated various changes to our content to reflect this, including introducing a new style of animation that has not been seen before in the Indian children’s category with ‘Abhimanyu Ki Alien Family’. Each year, we launch a new IP, and we don’t just create a new show, but also try to innovate and improve all aspects of its creation. By constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation, we aim to provide our audience with fresh and exciting content that sets us apart from our competitors,” she concluded.


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