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Cosmos-Maya is the brains behind a lot of popular animation shows including Motu Patlu, Eena Meena Deeka and Inspector Chingum
With schools shut down, children are consuming more content, leading to a surge in the growth of the kids' genre

As demand for kids’ content sees a surge during lockdown, animation company Cosmos-Maya has its plate full

With schools shut down, children are consuming more content, leading to a surge in the growth of the kids' genre
  • The lockdown has led to children watching more content, leading to a surge in viewership in the kids' genre.
  • Animation company Cosmos-Maya is the brains behind popular kids shows like Eena Meena Deeka, Tik Tak Tail and Motu Patlu.
  • Anish Mehta, CEO, Cosmos-Maya talks to us about how things have been for the company since the lockdown, and what we can expect from their stable in the next few months to come.
Since the nation went under a 21-days lockdown, lots of interesting consumer behavior trends have been emerging across the spectrum. With more and more people staying at home, TV and OTT viewership has gone up substantially. Also, with schools closed too, children are consuming more content.

According to data shared by television monitoring agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the kids’ genre witnessed a 39% growth in the second week of the lockdown. As a genre, kids’ channels, along with movies and news, grew much more than GEC, across dayparts in prime time.

It is then obvious that most of the children’s channels are doing all in their might to come up with fresh content, to keep their audiences engaged and content, which is where animation companies like Cosmos Maya play a critical role.

For the uninitiated, Cosmos Maya has been the brains behind some of the most popular animation shows on channels including Nickelodeon, Disney and Cartoon Network. Some of the most popular shows from its stable are Eena Meena Deeka, Tik Tak Tail and Motu Patlu.

A recent chat with Anish Mehta, CEO, Cosmos-Maya took us behind the scenes of how Cosmos Maya has been working under the lockdown and what are a few of the things that we can look forward to in the months to come.

Edited excerpts:

Q) Considering most of the animation work happens inside studios, in what way has your business been impacted due to the current crisis?

The management had formulated Work From Home (WFH) plans a few days before the lockdown was announced. So, the transition to WFH setups was relatively seamless for us. It is too early to assess the crisis’ impact on business. Yes, there are reports of a slowdown and the entire economic landscape of the country being affected. That, no doubt will slow things down if the crisis is prolonged. We are fortunate that our line of work provides respite in times like this. While there are economic implications to every decision, the safety our people is of utmost importance and thus Cosmos-Maya had already taken progressive measures in that direction.

Q) Has there been a surge in the demand for kids content, considering kids are at home and consumption of kids channels has gone up?

There has been a substantial surge in consumption of kids’ content. This has led to a lot of inquiries from buyers.

Q) What kind of content are you currently working on? Has the lockdown brought about any change in the kind of content you are creating?

Since 18 of our IPs are on air currently, most of them are ongoing projects with new seasons being commissioned every now and then, these take the largest share in the production pie. Out of these, ‘Motu Patlu’ and ‘Selfie With Bajrangi’ are network toppers for Nickelodeon and Disney respectively. In fact, ‘Selfie with Bajrangi’ is the first Indian kids’ animated show to feature on a major GEC via Star Plus. Two of our projects, ‘Lambuji Tinguji’ and ‘Titoo’ were recently greenlit by Cartoon network and Pogo. Production is also on for ‘Dogtanian and Three Muskehounds’, which marks Cosmos-Maya’s entry into the International Feature Film Business. The current crisis will find its way into episodic storylines. It will be our endeavor to simplify the information reaching out to kids so that it is easier for them to decode it.

Q) What kind of growth has some of the content created by Cosmos-Maya witnessed in the past few weeks. Can you share some figures?

Millions of children worldwide are finding solace in WowKidz, Cosmos-Maya’s YouTube platform during this lockdown since the platform’s programming is kept running from home. As responsible content creators and distributors, we endeavor to put a smile on anxious faces and spread the message of goodness. There has been a substantial growth in WowKidz subscribers and views in the last couple of weeks. The platform sees daily views in excess of 50 million and currently has a total of 40 million subscribers.

Q) What lies ahead for the animation industry if the lockdown is extended?

Cosmos-Maya is already honing its WFH capabilities. Our ever-evolving business model is already adapting to the changes. If the crisis is prolonged, it will be imperative for all studios to rise up to the challenge.

Q) Will the lockdown, and therefore the surge in demand for kids content, lead to growth for the industry as well as Cosmos-Maya?

The lockdown has greatly impacted the entire Media landscape. Kids’ media has also been majorly impacted. TV ratings and views on OTTs and VOD platforms for kids’ content have increased substantially. Children from the age group of 4-11 have the most time at their disposal and the smartphone and TV assuming the role of the ‘Digital Nanny’ is coming in handy for parents since children switch between YouTube and cartoons to pass their time and stay happy and entertained. However, it must be reiterated that Advertising revenues have been hit. It is too early to assess the crisis’ impact on business.

Q) Like a lot of popular shows are making a comeback, is there a demand for old shows that have performed well in the past?

A lot of older shows are being re-telecast. The ratings have not yet come in for these, so we need to wait and see whether these are performing in today’s day and age. However, older comedy shows, when re-telecast, have known to do well because of the nostalgia factor. Now with entire families at home during the lockdown, it is highly probable that older shows and re-runs of previously aired episodes of currently running comedy shows will do well. On this front, there will soon be a similar announcement from our end. Stay tuned.

COVID-19IndiaCases: 226,770Deaths: 6,348Recovered: 109,462
COVID-19WorldCases: 6.42mnDeaths: 383kRecovered: 2.87mn
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