Nickelodeon, the kids’ network from Viacom18, has announced the launch of its fourth local production — Gattu Battu. Produced by Toonz Animations, the channel will launch its fourth intellectual property on May 1. Gattu Battu is a high decibel detective action comedy series.
The channel already has three Indian properties — Motu Patlu, Shiva and Pakdam Pakdai. The three characters are quite popular and the network cashes on this popularity across verticals — consumer products, digital games and TV series. “While Shiva was an instant success for us, Motu Patlu gradually grew to enter the favourites’ list of the viewers’ minds. We are hopeful that Gattu Battu will also ring the same bell in the little viewers’ heads and be on the top of their mind soon enough,” said Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Kids Entertainment, Viacom18.
Gattu Battu was conceptualised in-house by the Viacom18 team and it will run seven days a week, through the summers. It will be mixed with the new episodes of the existing shows and the library content of the network to create a robust mix of content for the kids during the summers. There will be new episodes of all the existing shows — Motu Patlu, Shiva and Ninja Hattori. Along with this, television premiere of the theatrical release of 2016 — Motu Patlu King of Kings.
As of now, the network has about 200-300 episodes of each show as library content, while they will be adding about 200 hours of new content in 2017. The network has stood by his promise of crossing 30 per cent market share in 2016, by clocking 31 per cent. Disney India, the kids network, garnered about 33 per cent, while Turner Broadcasting’s kids network got 27 per cent market share. (Data provided by Viacom18, Source: BARC 2-14, NCCS ABC, U+R, Week 8-12, 7 am to 10 pm).
Jaipuria also informed, “The channel has the No. 1 spot across all demographics, all geographical markets, all time bands and all age-groups and that is because we have put in a lot of effort into it. In terms of the rural urban divide, we get about 65-70 per cent viewership from urban markets. Rural is a strong market for us, but we have not yet felt the need to launch a specific channel for the rural market.”
It must be noted that the only FTA in the genre is Maha Cartoon TV launched in October 2016. However, Jaipuria clearly suggested that owing to the high cost of production for the animated content, a free-to-air (FTA) channel will not really make business sense to the network.
The network has claimed that six out of the 10 most popular characters of Ormax study has been Nickelodeon. Motu, Patlu and Chingam from the Motu Patlu series; Ninja Hattori, Red Ranger and Shiva have been the most popular. A few other characters include Doraemon and Chhota Bheem.
The network has registered a 20 per cent increase in the revenues in 2016. This must have been driven through the yield by its channels — Sonic’s yield increased by 40 per cent and Nickelodeon’s yield has increased by 25 per cent. The channel has also witnessed an increase in subscription revenues of 10-15 per cent because of digitisation. Jaipuria also informed that about 50 per cent of the kids’ cluster sponsors are non-kids advertisers.
Sonic has come out as a surprise winner since the channel has got 10 per cent market share in the year that ended on December 2016, against a 4 per cent market share that the channel commanded in the year ending December 2015. While the data for 2015 and 2016 is not comparable, the increase has been significant.
The network had been aggressive in promoting the channel, on both fronts — marketing and programming. So much so was the effort that the network shifted its most popular property ‘Shiva’ from Nickelodeon (a more established channel) to Sonic (comparatively, an underdog then). But the strategy has worked marvellously for the network and Shiva contributed to about 22 per cent into the total GTVTs of the channel (data provided by the channel).
The biggest money spinners for the network were the Kids Choice Awards which came back after a gap of two years and the theatrical release of Motu Patlu.
Jaipuria said, “Nickelodeon endeavours to serve the best entertainment to its young audience. Catering to children and their evolving preferences is at the core of all our initiatives. It is this coupled with our desire to innovate that has helped us sustain our leadership in the kids’ segment since 2014. After launching three blockbuster made in India shows and creating their eco-system, we are delighted to bring to them yet another winning series, Gattu Battu, that they will surely embrace and make a part of their daily lives.”
Gattu Battu will be launched with an expansive marketing campaign including cross channel plan on TV, large scale on-ground, ambient engagement and interesting on-line interactivity. Adding to this will be the on-ground initiatives like retail and mall partnerships (Phoenix, Ambience, Viviana), multi city promotions. The channel has associated with McDonald’s to air the show promos across 300 screens. Gattu Battu themed games, van activations in Tier 2 cities and meet-and-greets at various gaming zones such as Fun city will introduce the duo as well as allow kids to engage with the characters.