Over the top platforms is something that the animation space globally has come to love and adopt, given the kind of liberty and exposure content can enjoy if consumed through these platforms. In this session called ‘What do platforms want?’, leading players in the space provide a vision of the global acquisition trends for kids’ content for the year to come, and presented their business and editorial acquisition strategies, while share some of their success stories and unveiling a few upcoming projects and co-production opportunities.
“It’s all about engaging with kids and bringing them content which is engaging and interactive in nature. But most of all being an OTT platform, its essential to be user friendly and constantly updating content which is loved by the kids,” said Hopster founder and CEO Nick Walters. Accompanying him on the panel were, Carlos Tibi – founder and CEO of ICFLIX Media FZ; Tara Sorensen – head of kids programming for Amazon Studios; Sean Chu founder and CEO of WeKids Asia, a spin-off entity from Ciwen Kids/Ciwen Media Group.
Giving China’s perspective on this Sean said: “Online streaming in China is mostly watched by the older viewers, while the broadcast medium is still preferred over OTT by parents for their kids as it gives them more control over their viewing habits.” He further went on to add that WeKids Asia is currently looking at making more properties around toy and games.
On the kind of partners they are looking to work with, everyone was of the opinion that the rights to the IP which get created must be shared with them, but Hopster’s Nick had a different take on the same. “We are ready to work with anyone and everyone as long as they have compelling ideas which are educative as well as entertaining. We want to work with people with an entrepreneurial streak in them and we can also seed their idea without wanting any exclusivity as that would only enable the content creator to create that much more compelling content, so its a win-win for all.”
Carlos and Tara were of the opinion that it is very important to connect with the local audience as well, and thus supporting and working with creators who are in the market where the content will finally be consumed is a good business deal as it would then allow that much more reach and visibility for the content.
OTT services are yet to make it big in the Indian market, with the only big player currently being Hotstar, a platform which was created by Star India to further penetrate into the youth of today that wishes to consume content on the go. WWE Network which boasts of over 1 million active subscribers is yet to enter the Indian market as well, while the Singapore based HOOQ is attempting to make in-roads but its still early days. So looking at OTT services catering primarily for animation content creators still seems to be a far fetched dream for India, but as the saying goes ‘Never say Never’!