Monday, May 02, 2016

Nickelodeon India To Rebrand Sonic On Tuesday 3rd May 2016

Viacom18 will be giving Sonic, Nickelodeon India's sister kids channel and Viacom18's second kids channel in India, a revamp on Tuesday 3rd May 2016!

Comedy drives the action at Sonic.

Launched in 2011 and known largely as an action-adventure channel for young boys, Sonic is changing and wants to be known as a channel that shows "comedy with a tinge of adventure". As part of the rebrand, Sonic will sport a new look featuring a brighter colour scheme and a new programming line-up.

"Our research said that comedy is the common denominator in the kids' genre, it helps attract viewers and maintain stickiness. At the same time, we want Sonic to have a distinct identity, and so we have retained some of the edginess and adventure in the new logo, packaging and of course, programming," says Nina Elavia Jaipuria, EVP and head (kids cluster), Viacom18.

Sonic's new colours are meant to reflect the new positioning, with yellow taking greater prominence over blue and a softer font to go with it.

Motu Patlu

Revamping the watch list

One of Sonic's most popular shows, Saban's Power Rangers, caters mostly to boys, but to appeal to a wider audience, the channel introduced Pakadam Pakadai, a series popular on Nick India, to the schedules last year, and recently started airing Shiva. In the coming months, Sonic will be premiering more brand-new episodes of both shows, and will be adding several new shows to the channels line-up.

"Our flagship Nick has been the genre leader for almost two years now and our kids portfolio is amongst the top two in India. Seen in this light, the rebranding exercise for Sonic is part of an evolving content strategy that will increase the combined viewership share of our kids portfolio," said Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO, Viacom18.


Vats believes the kids genre holds immense promise in India. "Our commitment is reflected in how we've placed it across our network through consumer products and a dedicated section in our OTT service Voot," he adds. As a category, kids' channels have six per cent share of viewership (urban and rural markets combined) points out Jaipuria. "We feel now is the right time to capitalise on the lead that Nick has and boost Sonic to the next level," she says.

Nick and Sonic will have a mix of in-house and acquired properties. For the moment, most new shows will be added to Sonic after a run on Nick. "I think right now, Nick is a stable strong platform. The idea is to get more and more people to sample Sonic, especially those who know the old avatar of the channel, and see the new version with new episodes of the popular shows they saw on Nick," says Jaipuria.

Advertisers on board

According to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data provided by Viacom18, the kids genre accounted for six per cent of total viewership last financial year across India. In urban areas, Viacom 18's market share was around eight per cent. However, Jaipuria adds that the category is still under-indexed as revenues from the genre account for around three per cent of total spends on TV.

However, Jaipuria says that they have managed to raise inventory rates at a time when the competition has been under-cutting rates to attract advertisers. "When you are in a good position viewership wise, you have the leverage to charge a premium. We are running on an over-booked inventory and knew our content is working and advertisers value associating with us. There were some struggles, but at the end of it, our commercial partners also understand the value we bring to the table," says Jaipuria. Both Nick and Sonic increased their ad-sales monetisation by 40 and 67 per cent respectively, albeit Sonic's growth comes on a comparatively low base.

It's not only viewership that has helped the network increase ad-sales numbers. Increasing focus on the licensing and merchandising and innovative brand integrations into content have worked, too. Additionally, digitisation has helped boost subscription revenues and helped bring in brands that traditionally did not look at kids' channels and they comprise almost 50 per cent of the advertisers on the network today.

Original source: Business Standard News.
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