Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Children's Television - Part I

There are some interesting stats available on children's television from the point of view of the market. According to the FICCI-KPMG 2012 report, the Indian TV industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17 percent over 2011-16 and will reach INR 735 billion in 2016. Interestingly, kids’ TV channels have the largest share of viewership in India after after GECs,movies and news. A Cartoon Network 2011 survey suggests that the media consumption of TV, expectedly, supersedes that of all other media among Indian kids. Another figure points out that the share of kids' genre which was 5.4% in 2008 has jumped to 7.6% in 2012! Even the ad market has become between Rs 200-250 crore. Good news or is it really? Despite the market moving swiftly and all possible dimensions around television swelling up figuratively, the growth in content is very restrictive. There is hardly any indigenous property in children's programming in India. A major part of children’s lore in India is still dominated by mythological stories. These stories have also constantly been the narrative of indigenous children’s television programming. While mythology does have some fantastic stories, kids also need shows with contemporary stories with which they can identify. The Indian TV content for children is so focused on telling a moral story. The lack of varied narratives is completely forgetful of the fact that the core of any narrative is about arousing basic human emotions! In my opinion, it is this indigenous, repititive narrative which has become one of the primary reasons for the huge popularity of imported content. Besides story themes, sophisticated animation and investment are other significant factors (but more on them later). Our children have grown, our stories still need to!

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