Today we witness the ascent of Indian entertainment like never before. With the scope and reach of home-grown animated content growing rapidly, Indian studios now stand head to head with some of the most prominent studios in the world.
Shows like Motu Patlu and Chhota Bheem, which are very rooted in Indian emotion and sensibilities, have been trendsetters in this regard. Such is the popularity of our show Motu Patlu, that 40 percent viewership of Viacom’s Nickelodeon, the #1 channel in the kids’ space, comes from this one show. A classic case study wherein an Indian IP based in the heartland has become a phenomenon that drives the viewership for a major channel.
As a market dominating animation producer, Cosmos-Maya has been the flagbearer for Indian content’s dominance in this space. A humble journey that began with a single season of Motu Patlu has led us to a position where there are more than 10 shows concurrently running simultaneously across all the major linear & non-linear platforms in the country with a bank of over 1100 half hours of content; which is more than the content that a broadcast network with multiple channels would create. Our success as an IP creator is a microcosm of the larger dominance that Indian content has had in this space.
Variety is definitely the key. While slapstick comedies and situational buddy comedies are the most dominating genres in India at the moment, there is also a science fiction, a hint of Indian mythology both in its actual form and also in its contemporary fantasy form, there are non-dialogue chase comedies, hard core masala action and even action comedies to name a few. As a creative production house, we at Cosmos-Maya have created shows of every genre catering to the tastes of the Indian audiences.
In addition to the linear broadcasters, digital streamers are coming in aplenty to bring about the disruption in the market. Selfie With Bajrangi and Inspector Chingum launched on Amazon Prime Video first. The spinoff series of the massively popular show Motu Patlu was recently launched on Amazon Prime Video. The character ‘Chingum’ was planted right in the beginning with the vision of making it a standalone series.
The market and the industry have evolved to an extent where some of the global practices are implemented in the creative process in terms of planning & creating new IPS. One can see the confluence of global best practices and innate Indian storytelling. That is the future of Indian content going forward. It is the cause Indian animation studios are championing.
Evidently, it is the Indian touch that is driving the ratings. Even acquired international shows that are doing really well, have a distinct Indian element to them, mainly due to the nature and feel of the dubs. For that matter, even our non- dialogue shows have a Bollywood inspired dub track which brings in that Indian element. Indian kids like the Indian touch in whatever they consume. This Indian essence allows them to have a sense of ownership and belonging, and greatly influences their consumption and in effect, our creation.
Ketan Mehta is an Indian film director and managing director at Cosmos-Maya