KC Global Media enters India with premium anime content; eyes localisation, collaboration

In this interview with Adgully, George Chien, Co-founder, President & CEO of KC Global Media, shares his insights on the company’s entry into the Indian market with premium anime content through Animax, their flagship anime channel. He discusses the popularity of anime in India and the company’s plans for collaboration with Indian creators and studios, as well as the possibility of localisation in regional languages. He also talks about the global entertainment industry’s transformation and audience behaviour shift, and the company’s focus on curating quality content in partnership with national players and leading broadcasters. Excerpts:

What prompted the entry of an Asian entertainment network into the Indian market at this point? Kindly share a background of KCGM and its global outreach.

India has always held a special place in our hearts and through fans’ petitions in the past years, we are delighted to bring Animax back for the fans and make our premium anime content accessible to everyone.

With India’s rapid adaptation to digital-first and its drive towards being a 5G nation, there is plenty of growth as consumers are open to exploring more content as entertainment becomes more available across various platforms.

KC Global Media (KCGM) is Asia’s leading entertainment network and boasts an impressive portfolio of iconic entertainment brands, including English-language general entertainment network AXN, anime channel Animax, South Korean entertainment channel ONE and Japanese entertainment channel GEM, in 20 territories across the region.

How has the response been to anime/ animation content among the Indian audience? What is the future scope?

India is second, after China, where anime is enjoyed the most. On average, 73% of Indians watched anime in 2020, and many were introduced to anime through Animax India back in the early 2000s.

The pandemic has led to consumers binge-watching and there has been an increase in the popularity of various content, including anime, in India. Anime has gained popularity through many YouTube channels and social media influencers who dedicate their love to anime. Local online anime communities have also grown in the past few years.

Anime shown on popular streaming platforms has led to increased popularity and consumption of the genre. However, the anime libraries of these streaming platforms are not as comprehensive, and more obscure anime is often overlooked, which is where KC Global Media comes in to fill the gap to anime fans through our channel offering and our position as the leading anime channel in Asia.

Is any Indian anime character on the cards? How soon can we expect one?

Animax is a brand focused on curating the best anime from Japan. However, through Animax Korea, we have continually expanded our capabilities on original animation creations in partnership with leading Korean animation studios. We are definitely open and keen to explore working with creators and studios in India to develop Indian anime characters. We encourage animation creators and producers to contact us and share their ideas with us.

Do you plan to work in collaboration with any other group/ banners in the Indian entertainment or television industry?

Yes, definitely. At KC Global Media, we pride ourselves in championing Asian talents and creations on the world stage and look forward to collaboration opportunities with partners in India who share our values.

Any plan to venture into the Indian vernacular/ regional language space?

KC Global Media has always been about focusing on curating the best premium content from around the world according to our fans’ preferences. Content and language localisation in India is definitely a growth opportunity and we are open and excited to explore this possibility.

KCGM is open to localising for regional dialects, but for now, we will focus on English and Hindi to balance cost with the passionate demand.

How has the transformation been in the global entertainment industry in the recent past? What can you share about the shift in the audience behaviour, if any?

With a fiercely competitive market, some streaming providers are focused on quantity over quality, one that’s to their detriment. There’s growing evidence that more people are turning away from streaming services as it becomes difficult to sustain large amounts of quality programming; reports have revealed subscriber loss in various streaming platforms that marked a collective shift in the industry as well.

Today’s smart consumers have evolved over the years, and they now expect premium content at a good price as great value. Therefore, creating compelling value propositions in partnership with national players and leading broadcasters continue to be an important strategy for KC Global Media.

How has the audience in India, as well as other parts of Asia, reacted to the newer formats of entertainment over conventional ones?

Asian consumers have been receptive to new formats of entertainment. For example, KC Global Media brought newer formats of entertainment through our Asian original, ‘Fey Hollow: The Fairy Tale Murders’. The original audio-drama podcast offers a brand-new immersive take on storytelling with a unique dual ending, where audiences are invited to take the wheel to choose from two different endings – making them the creator and audience at the same time. Within its first week, ‘Fey Hollow: The Fairy Tale Murders’ reached the #1 spot in Apple’s podcast fiction category and ranked #5 overall on Spotify.

With OTT being a booming industry, countries like India are expected to grow further in the coming years. Entertainment in India is a big draw for its consumers, and they are open to discovering more variety of content. The prices of OTT platforms are also affordable as compared to other countries.


News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment