Kids to have 20 channels: Zarina Mehta

Hungama's Zarina Mehta, Disney's Nicky Parkinson, IMRB's Prasun Basu and Turner SVP & GM Ian Diamond look on as LOWE39;s Sanjai Srivastava makes a presentation at Kidology at FRAMES 05
At the session on kids entertainment and marketing to kids, Hungama TV’s Programming Head Zarina Mehta predicted that the future would have 20 channels for kids in India. “The Indian kids market is equal to the Western European market. Kids have the potential to drive market forces. Out of the total turnover of the Indian television industry (13000 crores) 150 crores are driven by the kids. Hence, in the next few years, there will be radio channels, interactive gaming programmes through the internet and also separate channels for boys and girls,” she claimed. Even as the Indian kids entertainment market is set to geometrically expand across regional demos, dubbed shows, once looked upon as a substitute for original content are emerging as the new trend. Disney’s Nicky Parkinson pointed out that dubbing was more than mere translation. “It is recreating the show. It has to be made sure the perfect voice goes for the character. Disney has its shows in 10 languages around the world. Dubbing is more than just translation,” said Nicky. Making a strong case for research, Turner SVP & GM Ian Diamond stressed that channels should know the content that they serve in their shows. “It is essential to research to develop new content. We must give the audience what they want and at a time they want. We brought out Toon Tamasha- a trilingual in English, Hindi and Tamil. We started special programmes in the Tiny TV and Prime Pogo section.” “Children should be given a sense of ownership and a chance to express themselves” he added. IMRB VP Prasun Basu declared that brands and kids are inseparable. In his presentation he put out facts like – – Kids are exposed to 2000 advertisements a year. They have the power of pestering their parents to buy them things of their choice. – Statistics show that six out of ten tweens (those between ages eight and fourteen) keep asking their parents for things nine times over! While the focus shifting to kids does help in building their general awareness and grooming their personality, the larger issues concerning their psychological growth, inculcation of empathy towards fellow human beings and self-discipline remain undiscussed. How long will they continue to gulp spinach to be in suit of their favourite hero on the screen? Is entertainment the only fodder? It’s time the kids need some food (and good shows) for thought.