Increase in content consumption on OTT leads to open the doors for the animation genre
Authored by Anish Mehta, CEO Cosmos-Maya
There is nothing surprising to be mentioned when talking about the media consumption figures we’ve seen in 2020 as production and broadcasting entities. This year has witnessed a phenomenal increase in aggregate media & entertainment consumption. The digital OTT space has been growing commensurately, witnessing a 30-35% growth since the initiation of the global lockdown.
We have steadily observed the establishment of a parallel platform-based content viewing system where the audience gets to choose every detail of their experience – people can have their choice of title in their choice of genre at any time they choose and at the frequency at which they wish to consume content. New platforms are coming up everyday offering a multitude of subscription and viewership options to the audience. With urban Wi-Fi penetration beginning to take greater strides, there has been a surge of hybrid boxes in India, which provide bundled packages of various subscription-based OTT platforms at simpler discounted flat rates.
The year 2020 has seen some obvious paradigm shifts in people’s work environments and social settings. With the imposition of the lockdowns and the stay-at-home social distancing norms, people have taken to consuming content on television and OTT platforms, the latter especially so. Subscription-based platforms like Disney+Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime and freemium OTT platforms such as Zee5, Voot etc. have seen a great increase in viewership across all genres, especially kids’ animation, which has provided a respite for kids having to attend online schooling and spending most of their days within their homes. 27% of the current Indian population are kids below the age of 14 i.e. nearly 366 million children. With so many children living at home for such an extended period of time, consumption of kids animation has witnessed unprecedented growth, and content producers have made the most of this development.
According to data compiled by BARC, the children’s entertainment genre has seen a tremendous increase in viewership, and that is just in television. OTT platforms have seen multiple-fold increase in their subscription and viewership numbers. Figures such as these suggest unprecedented doors of opportunities for content creators in the kids’ animation space.
Indian animation companies are progressing on the value chain to own and co-produce IP rights. Every studio is progressively working to make their presence felt in global markets. The OTT allure has given creators an opportunity to experiment with new ideas, stories and characters. The world has become a smaller place and there is so much potential to do stories which are from India. We saw this first hand with Eena Meena Deeka by Cosmos-Maya. The show’s burgeoning demand led to it getting announced for a third season, with Wildbrain Spark coming onboard to co-produce the show for distribution in 100 countries worldwide.
Animation has the capability to tap into the richest depths of children’s creative capabilities, and positively impact their social learning processes with messages about responsibility, family and community. It has the capacity to impart complex lessons and render even the driest of subject matters in an engaging, easily digestible form. Kids’ animation is one of the unique genres that has its core audience separate from the content moderators. So, while paying attention to what works best for our young audiences, we have to always take into account parameters such as the sensibilities of their parents, and how their personal choices of media consumption portals eventually influence their kids’ consumption of animated media, because content placement will be governed accordingly.
With the advent of algorithmic streaming platforms and absolute viewership control in the hands of a young audience that has become ever more discerning about the kind of characters and stories they want to see, the animation sector is most definitely moving toward a much more adaptive space, where audience tastes will age quicker and producers and broadcasters shall have to keep on their toes to keep the viewers hooked with the right thing at the right time.