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Exclusive | Spirits up, as Nick's digital div bets big: Rajneel Kumar

Nickelodeon India, the kids’ cluster at Viacom18, which includes a bouquet of channels – Nick, Sonic and Nick Jr./Teen Nick, with a thought to up it’s entertainment quotient has launched multiple products in the digital space.

This initiative will help tap tech savvy audience and advertisers who are increasingly focusing on digital marketing. With the growing interest of kids and teenagers on web and mobile devices, Nickelodeon India is bringing a slew of properties aimed at it’s segregated audience, starting from toddlers to teenagers and even young parents. From revamping the websites - Nickindia.com & SonicGang.com and launching Nickjr.com & Teennickindia.com to building applications that include games and videos on mobiles and tablets, Nickelodeon is all geared up to take it’s success beyond television and consumer products  to lead the kid’s entertainment digitally.

Adgully caught up with Rajneel Kumar - VP & Business Head- Digital Media, Viacom18 to know more about their expansion plans in the digital space.

Speaking about how the kids genre has evolved and the reason behind so much pro-activeness in this genre, Kumar said, “Well, let’s go back a few years. As per Ericsson Consumer Insight Report “Generation Z”, Oct 2012, it was observed that the ‘Generation Z’ are 8 to 18 yrs olds for whom mobile phones are indispensable and they are Prime consumers of this device these days. Apart from the study, looking around today we find that this age category is active on digital platform too. Either they own their personal device that enables internet facility or else they have access to it through their parents or elder’s devices. Over 40 mn kids are estimated to be accessing mobile devices today and increasingly consuming content whether videos or games out of which 30mn own their own personal device and rest 11mn have an access to it through parents.    21 percent of kids and teens show usage patterns similar to 16-18 year olds.   Pocket money in India is increasing and the average monthly allowance for children aged 9-18 in urban areas is INR 2,253. At the same time if you look at the present economic scenario, kids are quite independent as far as money is concerned especially in terms of ‘Pocket Money’.”

Another important fact to be noted is that the amount of time which Generation Z spends using mobile phones per day has already begun to overtake the amount of time they spend watching TV.   Adoption of smartphones is also increasing within this age group, with 7 percent of Generation Z owning a smartphone today.

Having said that it proves the fact that a kid has his/her own device, has money spending capacity and power hence they know how to optimize the content provided on the internet. According to a study, the average amount of time that a kid is spending on television includes less of TV consumption and more of second screen consumption. So hence this also proves the fact that children today are moving out of the television concept and interestingly 90 percent of children access internet through their mobile devices; so the entire access is coming from the mobile. 3 million Indian mobile broadband users are under 18.

Kumar says, “Now with so much high consumption level there has to be something unique from companies so as to attract kids to consume our content.  Hence two things should be kept in mind: one is that your brand awareness should be strong and the other that you need to be able to monetize from the devices from which content is consumed.”

“When it comes to monetizing part, if you look at the overall advertising business on the internet and digital space, around last year (2012) as per KPMG FICCI Report,  the digital industry reported  2170 crores which grew by 40% from 2011 and now this year, 2013 we are projecting it to grow by 2830 cr. So this is what has happened in the last two years but everybody is interested in projecting numbers for year 2017 hence since it is growing at a CAGR of 31% rate every year so we are projecting it to end up at about 8700 cr in 2017,” he said.

So, according to Kumar, the change and growth is seen on both the sides: the consumer and on the digital. Therefore a lot of activities are seen happening in this direction.  The growth rate at which consumers are increasing in terms of consuming content digitally has to be kept in mind.

Elaborating on some of the unique initiatives taken by Nick, he said, “On our entire kids genre that includes Nick Jr, Sonic etc, we address all groups right from toddlers to teenagers hence we need to have a 360 degree approach when it comes to venturing in the entire digital space.  Our strategy is to build very strong products on the web and mobile devices that engage them in all ways possible. We will continue to carefully segment our audience and entertain them on each platform with best in class web properties, apps & games. By 2017, when 134 million kids as against 40 million in 2012 which is more than triple the figure (BCG Report 2013) are expected to be online, we should be the strongest digital brand for them on all platforms.”

He believes that digital is no longer a part of their strategies, it is a separate business altogether which has its own set of consumers. 

On the mobile space, Nickelodeon has recently launched Dreamstar Stardom Saga developed by '99Games Online Private Limited', aimed specifically at teenage girls, which is an interactive casual mobile game, available on Apple’s iOS, Google Play Store (Android) and Amazon App Store.

Another app gaining momentum amongst consumers is Playtime with Dora - the Explorer, a fun and an educational app, targeted at preschoolers which is also available in Hindi on the Android and iOS platform.

Being a part of their strategy and thought for Digital space, the company has revamped their web sites. Elaborating on that front, Kumar says, “We believe that your website is something that plays a vital role and that is one place where people consume a lot of content from hence we thought of revamping it in order to make our website, Nickindia.com more valuable.”

Nickindia.com, the new website offers exclusive content from the Nick International & local library with 80+ games and more than 100+ full episodes.

“We have a lot of international user interface and kids friendly functionality, delivering a safe environment for kids to entertain themselves. We have also witnessed a phenomenal growth in terms of traffic on our website as far as overall time spent on our website is concerned. So again to quantify it we have seen a 50%+ increase in traffic and over 150% increase in terms of spent on our revamped website. Similarly we are also on the verges of launching Nick World App which will enable them to watch full-length Nick shows on tablets and mobile devices. The site has seen more than 6.5 Lakh Game Plays in last 60 days.

The current year plans also include the release of a host of mobile games across platforms,” Kumar added.

Well, there is no doubt about the fact that all the initiatives that are taken by Nick are unique in it. Elaborating on that front, he said, “Yes, all our properties are exclusive and unique as far as IPs as concerned. Such content and games are not available anywhere else. All the apps are ranking high. On the gaming side all the characters based on which the games are designers are proprietary to us and the idea too is different revolving around those characters hence again that differentiates from the competition.” 

Teennick Dreamstar Stardom Saga, an interactive Social Mobile Game targeted at Teenage Girls was launched on 1st August 2013 on iOS & Google Play. The Game is available on Apple iStore, Google Play Store, Amazon App Store (Available only in India). Interestingly uptill now the total Game Downloads are 1600+ (All Organic Downloads expected to change every day); iStore is 400, Google Play is 1138, Amazon App Store is 69. The Game has been Co published with Robosoft Technologies. While Robosoft has developed the game , Viacom 18 Digital Team will be marketing the game.

Sharing about the Dreamstar Stardom Saga Game Ratings Kumar informed that it is rated 4.1 on Google Play Platform. Robosoft that has co-published the game has developed the game & Viacom18 Digital Team will be marketing the Game. The players can experience the life of a superstar be it shopping for trendy clothes, being a paparazzi's muse, holiday at exotic locations or being  the cover girl. Game has provision to dynamically incorporate brands as In Game elements, without users requiring updates.

Thus with their line up of various digital initiatives Nickelodeon is now all geared up to pave the way for kid’s entertainment in the digital space .

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