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Digitisation and ad cap fuel Nick’s growth
MUMBAI: The 12-minute ad cap and cable TV digitisation coupled with local franchises like Motu Patlu and Pakdam Pakdai have brought big gains for Viacom18’s flagship kids channel Nick.
While advertising revenue for Nick has grown by 15–20 per cent due to restrictions imposed by the regulator on advertising in a clock hour, subscription revenue has seen double-digit growth, thanks to digitisation.
The increase in ad and subscription revenue has been complemented by a decrease in carriage fee payout that has been a bane for the broadcasters for a long time.
On the ad front, the channel has focused on big spenders in the kids category to drive growth. The biggest spenders on kids channels are malt food drinks (MFD) brands, confectionaries, fast food and ice-cream brands.
That the growth is happening despite the fact that Nick is not among the top three channels in the genre is in itself a phenomenal achievement. The genre is currently dominated by Turner channels—Cartoon Network and Pogo, followed by Disney.
“Our ad revenue grew by 15–20 per cent last year due to ad cap and improved yields. Focus on locally relevant content through shows like Pakdam Pakdai and Motu Patlu has worked well for us. Despite the fact that Nick is not among the top three channels, it is delivering well on CPRP and the advertisers have taken note of that. We expect strong double digit growth this year as well,” says Viacom18 EVP and business head kids cluster Nina Jaipuria.
“Besides strong ad revenue growth, we also saw a double-digit growth in our subscription revenue while the carriage fee has seen a similar drop,” she adds, stating that the growth trajectory will continue through 2014.
Jaipuria reckons that the kids advertising market will grow by around 15 per cent this year. This market was pegged at Rs 330 crore (Rs 3.3 billion) last year.
“The kids ad market will witness a double-digit growth. Last year, the ad market was around Rs 330 crore; this year it should grow in double digits,” she asserted.
According to Jaipuria, Nick grew faster than the overall category at 34 per cent. Comparatively, the genre grew by 22 per cent, she revealed.
“While viewership for the genre grew at 20–22 per cent, Nick’s viewership saw a whopping 34 per cent growth. The addition of LC1 market also played a role in the viewership growth,” Jaipuria stated.
The summer vacation is the most critical season for kids broadcasters as the category witnesses a significant spike in viewership during this period. The summer season also contributes a bulk of the ad revenue for the broadcasters.
Therefore, most kids broadcasters ensure that they present their best content slate during this season. Not to be left behind, the Viacom18’s kids network has launched an aggressive content line-up for all its three channels—Nick, Sonic and Nick Jr. It comprises comedy, action and edutainment shows.
The content will be backed up by a plethora of marketing activities across platforms both on ground and online, to engage with the TG outside television.
Nick will see the new season of the home-grown chase comedy ‘Pakdam Pakdai’ and new episodes of ‘Motu Patlu’, which is the second highest rated show on the channel after the tent-pole show ‘Ninja Hattori’. Together, the three franchises contribute bulk of the ratings for Nick.
The channel will also launch ‘Rabbids’, a new show about rabbits that cause a lot of mischief.
In line with the new trend of making “made for TV” movies, Nick is all set to launch the third movie from its home production ‘Motu Patlu’ titled ‘Motu Patlu Deep Sea Adventure’. The movie will be aired on 18 May at 10 am.
Jaipuria said that the broadcaster is hoping to make two to four movies for each of its franchise. Having movies based on characters in the content mix has become a must for kids broadcasters as movies drive stickiness, in addition to providing differentiated content from the regular shows.
Marketing build around elections
Apart from the shows, Nick has also planned a series of marketing campaigns to engage its TG. To cash in on the election fever, it has launched ‘Nickelodeon Comedy Elections’ that will see two of its popular shows compete.
‘Nickelodeon Comedy Elections’ gives kids get a chance to vote for their favourite shows—‘Motu Patlu’ and ‘Pakdam Pakdai’. If their show gets the maximum votes, they stand to win goodies like mobile phones and PSPs.
This month-long initiative will be supported by a 360-degree marketing campaign that will target kids though cross-channel promotions, on-ground mall activities across Delhi and Mumbai, and a digital campaign. The campaign will also be promoted through promotions outside the network channels.
The ‘Nickelodeon Comedy Elections’ campaign finds its route online as well, via a Facebook app where kids can log on and vote for their party. The broadcaster has also launched ‘Nickelodeon Cricket Academy’ that offers cricket matches of Motu Patlu, toon trivia and fun facts.
“We have left no stone unturned in engaging the kids at a time, place and screen convenient to them,” said Jaipuria about the campaign.
Improving Sonic’s visibility
Launched in December 2011, Sonic is an action-oriented channel targeted at boys. The digital-only channel did not get enough traction initially. However, that is changing as the distribution gets sorted out.
Sonic is today available on all leading direct-to-home (DTH) platforms except Sun Direct. It is also carried by most multi-system operators (MSOs) like DEN Networks, Hathway Cable, InDigital and Siti Cable.
As more and more cities go digital, the footprint of Sonic too will grow, Jaipuria stated.
“A lot of teenagers want action content and there was no product for this kind of content. That’s why we launched Sonic to fill in this gap in the market. The channel has slowly picked up in ratings and the time spent on the channel is 100 minutes,” she claimed.
With distribution sorted, the broadcaster will now focus on promoting the channel in Phase II cities. The broadcaster will do a roadshow in 12–15 cities to increase visibility for the channel.
“Sonic is a well-known brand in the metros. The goal is to increase visibility in other cities and towns,” she added.
Jaipuria also said that a separate Tamil feed has been launched for Sonic to cater to the Southern market. The Marathi and Bengali feeds have been closed since it did not bring any incremental advantage in comparison with the Hindi feed.
For summers, Sonic will see new shows like ‘Power Rangers Mega Force’, ‘Koni Chan’ and ‘Naruto Rock Lee SD’. The channel will also air a television special titled ‘The Turboosters’, an action movie for fanatics of adventure and science fiction, which will air on 11 May.
The channel will further engage viewers through a fast-paced interactive campaign that includes cross-channel TV promotions, van activations across multiple cities, strategic on-ground alliances and a comprehensive online campaign.
Preschool channel Nick Jr. will engage toddlers and parents with new episodes of ‘Dora the Explorer’ and new shows that include ‘Peter Rabbit’, ‘Max & Ruby’ and ‘Tickety Toc’. Nick Jr. helps tots to learn and develop new skills in a way that is entertaining as well as warm and caring.
With Mothers’ Day around the corner, Nickjrindia.com will engage kids and mommies around the very special ‘Mothers’ Day’. A special titled ‘Nick Jr. Summer Selfie Contest’ will invite all young mommies to post selfies with their babies starting 8 May for the ‘Best Summer look for Mommies’ and win exciting Nick Jr. goodies.
‘Dora the Explorer’, Jaipuria said, is a bigger brand outside television. Therefore, the company is focusing on consumer products for the Dora character through ‘Back to School’ products.