In the crowded kids television market in India, Discovery Kids has managed to carve a space of its own. Year 2018 was a good one for the channel, which managed to create a buzz with new content and expansion into the south Indian markets. Tamil Nadu played a major role in its growth, the channel’s business head Uttam Pal Singh told this paper. And, driving the growth was Little Singham, an animation series inspired by the popular movie Singham.
Launched in 2012, Discovery Kids struggled initially. While new channels take their own sweet time to gain traction, “nothing was scaling up for us,” says Singh. “Then we realised the content we were offering was not really connecting with children. It was not something the kids wanted to come and watch again.”
The channel did market research across the country and found Tamil Nadu has great potential as people watch a lot of TV. It then came up with Little Singham, which clicked as the audience could easily relate to it thanks to the movie. That Singham the movie originated in Tamil Nadu also helped. The film, in which the super cop hero is played by Surya in Tamil and Ajay Devgn in Hindi, was a runaway hit with sequels too running to packed houses. Singham had a great recall value and the channel was able to tap it. “Little Singham has a brand connect throughout India,” says Singh.
Discovery Kids gets bulk of its revenues from subscription. The rest comes from ads and brand partnerships. Little Singham, launched in April 2018, was a turning point for the channel. Ad revenues grew over 500 per cent and the number of brands wanting to come on board doubled. “We had 20-25 brands till 2017. By 2018, more brands wanted to connect with Little Singham and the number touched 50,” says Singh.
Little Singham is now the most popular show for the channel. “We have already completed 100 episodes and are planning more. Also on the cards are licensing and merchandising the brand,” adds Singh. Discovery Kids is now available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu besides English. Having got a firm foothold in Tamil and Telugu markets, it is now eyeing other markets in south India. “Yes, we do have plans. We are looking at Kerala and some other markets,” says Singh, quickly adding that no launch dates have been fixed yet.