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Cartoon Network and Pogo are betting big on enhancing local content

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on July 08, 2021

WarnerMedia-owned kids channels have been launching homegrown content that kids can relate to

With kids entertainment category growing 20 per cent, WarnerMedia-owned kids channels Cartoon Network and Pogo are betting big on enhancing local content.

In an interaction with Hindu BusinessLine, Abhishek Dutta, Network Head of Cartoon Network and Pogo, South Asia at WarnerMedia said, “We at WarnerMedia realised pretty early that local and homegrown content is likely to be the next big trend for kids television in our country. Kids these days not only want fun and engaging content, but also stuff that they can relate with.”

According to Dutta, Cartoon Network and Pogo cumulatively have had the highest pace of incubating and launching local content, with six launches slated amidst the pandemic.

New launch

The Network is launching its fifth new homegrown show, its first local sci-fi superhero CGI series, ‘Ekans - Ek Se Badhkar Snake’ airing from June 27, 2021.

 

Ekans is the fifth show of the planned six launches. Moreover Cartoon Network and Pogo are not merely focusing on increasing pace for launches, rather extensively expanding the libraries for their recent launches. TV show Titoo, which was launched on Pogo last summer is seeing a renewal for 52 additional episodes. Warner's new launch Ekans on Cartoon Network, which has 13 new episodes planned for the first season, has already been signed on for 52 additional half-an-hour episodes and 6 TV movies. “Ekans has all the ingredients for being relatable and engaging for kids, which is why we are confident of its success'’, said Dutta

Strategy clicking

Dutta believes that their strategy to focus extensively on homegrown content is paying off. “Of the top 20 shows in the Kids category, 15 are local. In the top 10, 7 shows are local, Titoo in fact had the biggest launch in its category for the summer. Dabangg launched earlier this summer also saw resounding success.”

Overall, amidst the pandemic, Dutta remains optimistic about the growth of the kids television genre in general and of Cartoon Network and Pogo as well. “Covid-19 last year saw a 20 percent growth in the kids category, with the closing months of 2020 seeing 6-7 percent growth” said Dutta. “An advantage that kids tv has is the general preference for animation means that we were able to put up new content while other genres were relying on reruns due to logistical halts in production due to social distancing and lockdowns” Dutta added. Dutta said, that kids content needs to bet big on animation, “OTT and linear TV in the kids category are growing in a similar pace, with linear TV still being top preference for kids. However kids prefer animated content irrespective of the media”

Post first lockdown they are also seeing continued growth in unconventional time slots such as morning and the afternoon time, even with resumption of online classes, since kids don’t have to travel to school anymore. Warner owned channels Cartoon Network and Pogo are also planning to launch in five additional languages in the coming years, besides Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Although the exact timeline and languages in development still remains under wraps.

Published on June 26, 2021

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