OTT is adding to the growth of Indian animation industry, says Green Gold Animation’s Rajiv Chilaka

MUMBAI: The emergence of over the top (OTT) platforms has provided animation studios an additional avenue to create content for kids. Apart from providing an additional screen, the OTT industry is also a boon for the animation industry since it provides an additional revenue stream to the studios.

“Overall, OTT is adding to the growth of the Indian animation industry. It’s good to have our content running on both the platforms (TV and digital),” Green Gold Animation CEO and founder Rajiv Chilaka told TelevisionPost.com.

OTT, Chilaka said, is a relatively new industry which is evolving. The platforms are still figuring out what kind of content works for them. They want to put their money on tried and tested characters and formats.

“Although, last year we did a new show ‘Kalaari Kids’ which is still playing on Amazon Prime Video. This year, we have launched it on Pogo. It came on the OTT platform first and did very well. But the show didn’t get wide exposure because of the lower reach of OTT platforms. TV, on the other hand, has a massive reach. OTT viewership is only specific to a segment but TV viewership is pan-India,” Chilaka averred.

According to Chilaka, the kids genre will take some more time to mature on OTT compared to TV. While TV is still a force to reckon with for content creators the OTT has a lot of potential in the future considering the increasing penetration of mobile screens.

“Whatever we see on the OTT platforms now is basically whatever is available on TV. So, there is hardly anything exclusive yet on OTT. The OTT guys are figuring out what works and what will not work, so it goes through a lot of iteration. Right now, TV is still the destination for the kids to watch their favourite characters. But OTT is definitely the future,” he stated.

Throwing some light on the issues faced while creating content for OTT platforms, Chilaka said, “On OTT, we have to make sure that our storytelling is fantastic right from episode one. We can’t make any weak episodes; every episode has to be the topmost.”

Unlike OTT, the television medium provides a lot of flexibility to content creators to build characters slowly and steadily. “In television, we have an opportunity to build the characters and slowly the characters can evolve. When we launch a kids series on TV we have an option of making the 4th episode or 6th episode better than the first episode, we can build it up in the next episode and succeed,” he stated.

On OTT, the first three to four episodes are very important. “If we are not able to entertain the viewers in that first four episodes rather nobody is going to watch the rest of the episode. Nobody cares if thirteen or twentieth episode is better.”

Another challenge on OTT is that the people can pause and play so if there is any mistake in the frame it can be easily recognised by the viewers. Graphically, OTT requires more high-quality images, compared to TV. “Visually we cannot afford to have any mistake on the OTT platform,” Chilaka expressed.

“To address these challenges, we have a very stringent Quality Control (QC) for this and we take extra care while producing content for OTT platform. We double check everything. Even the quality of the audio is also high on OTT,” Chilaka opined.

Chilaka also informed that the Company is working on four IPs, out of which one is for Netflix called ‘Mighty Little Bheem’. It is also working on ‘Super Bheem’ which is spin-off from the Chhota Bheem series on Pogo. It is also working on ‘Kalari Kids’. “Besides this, we are also working with Nickelodeon’s IP- ‘Rudra’ and Sony yay’s IP- ‘KickO and Speedo’,” he said.

‘Mighty Little Bheem’ will be available in 190 countries. Chilaka hopes that this show will go global because it has all the sensibility and quality of international IPs but still it is Indian to the core. “The way of storytelling is Indian but universal in nature.”

Sharing his view on the demand of Indian kids content in the global market, Chilaka said, “The local demand for kids content is much higher than the global demand. The kids content might travel globally in the future as our content is evolving, our storytelling and animation are also getting better.”

The company also has six animated movies in its bucket. It will be releasing the next big-screen adventure featuring Bheem and friends ‘Chhota Bheem – Kung Fu Dhamaka’ on 10th May.

Speaking on the challenges faced in launching animated movies, Chilaka said, “First, the recovery is the challenge as people don’t go to watch the kids animation movie in the theatre. In India, the trends have started but it is not really like the west. That is gradually and slowly changing.”

He further added, “Another challenge is to get kids to the theatre. Although we see a huge response compare to TV and OTT but parents taking their kids to the theatre is a bit difficult in today’s time. As they are busy, they wait for weekends.”

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