September 10-2019
Bisbo: Animation will have a larger space in serious news journalism in the coming future

The advancements in animation technology are continuously leaping, therefore, animation is no longer restricted to entertainment alone. Today it is also used to educate and inform people about the recent happenings.

GoBisbo Broadcasting Network is an organisation of such kind, who creates animated news videos on Youtube channel Bisbo and believes “Animation brings ‘life’ to characters in unimaginable ways. I can only wait to see what happens when newer software is developed to take advantage of the coming technology like 5G and sure, 6G and 7G” said GoBisbo Broadcasting Network founder and creator Shakir Ebrahim.

Incorporation of animation in the real-life infotainment has helped in informing the audience with information in a creative way unlike the traditional TV news footages which are played in a loop and sometimes not alluring to watch. As he expressed “Mainstream news journalism has still not really recognised how animation may enhance their industry. Take TV news footage; whatever has been managed to be captured on camera is repeated ad-infinitum in the same loop over and over again, making it irritating to watch. Animation allows recreation, re-imagination and will certainly have a larger space in serious news journalism in the coming future.”

Being in the industry for a while now  Ebrahim expressed that animated real news content has to be limited to facts, unlike the traditional animation. In fact, animated real news content takes off from where traditional animation from comic books stopped.

In terms of content genre, the majority of the animated real-life news content on the web seems to focus on humour. However, Bisbo shows how serious news can be delivered via the same medium. Although “it’s still a stretch of the imagination for some, but once they see two-three of our videos, their mind expands to envelop a new concept,” he added.

Today there’s a lot of content out there, so if anybody wants to understand any topic one may have to do quite a bit of research before actually creating any content. “Not only do we compile everything in one place, but we also re-create the events by imagining how it happened and present them in a 6-10 minute video. It’s a mini-movie/docudrama!”

It is not always cakewalk when someone creates something niche, they go through many challenges and it was no exception for Bisbo either. On asked what challenges Bisbo faced or still facing in creating real-life animated news content he answered, “the real challenge is to stay relevant in an ever-faster news cycle. Sensational news today is forgotten as other sensational news emerges even on the same day. Illustration and animation take time, so one has to be careful what topics one chooses, transient vs. more enduring. However, as a caveat let me add, that surprisingly, we continue to get hundreds of thousands of views on videos that really have passed their shelf life. The reason for this, of course, is Bisbo’s unique mix of reality with animation based on comprehensive content.”

The animation space is constantly evolving, be it the content preference of the audience or be it creators’ urge in creating fresh content. Not only that today it is very difficult to analyse the reason for the popularity and why one will watch the content. Taking an example Tom and Jerry cartoon of the ’40s is still popular because of the ‘agelessness’ of the content.

Day by day animated content market is expanding irrespective of the platform on which they are streamed. “There are now wonderful channels on YouTube that use animation in many different ways; some combine it with camera footage, some add infographics, some use non-real looking characters to tell their story. It’s growing and more will come,” he added.

As the animation business is scaling high, by the end of 2020 Bisbo is aiming to publish five videos per week in each of their 10 languages (English for US Market and Indian market separately, Hindi, Bangla, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telegu, Marathi, Gujrati, Punjabi)  and to reach a subscriber base of five million and aiming to achieve a watch time of a quarter billion minutes per month. Not only that in the big picture for the year 2024 they are aiming for 100 million subscribers with an upload rate of 125 videos per day in 25 languages.