When it comes to TV, kids in India like domestically made shows and movies – and both, preferably, in their own language.

Children are watching more TV in India than ever, and viewership is growing, according to data from the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India. Its latest report, ‘Catching the Youngest Viewers’, reveals that children now make up 21% of total viewership on linear TVs.

But only 12% of young viewers actually watch content aimed at them, with 49% watching general entertainment channels, and 24% of them watching movies.

Drilling down further, the data also shows that those viewers watching kids’ content are often not children at all.

Viewers aged two to 14 years make up 38% of the audience, while a further 10% are in the 15 to 21 years age category, and a further 32% are aged in categories between 22 and 40.

This is down to families watching in groups, say the researchers.

Conversely, this also accounts for the fact that lots of children are watching more general content, like movies, rather than kids’ material aimed at them – 98% of Indian households still only have one TV, so different age groups have to share.

Women aged 31 to 40 years spend 30% of their co-viewing time watching with children, and therefore offer significant targeting opportunities for advertisers, researchers note.

BARC India senior VP, business development partnerships, Elbert D’silva told IndianTelevision.com that kids’ content rose from a 33% to a 39% share of all TV content between 2016 and 2018.

There was also a sharp rise in localised content within the children’s category – on national kids’ channels it was up by 18% – and a preference for Indian content was especially evident among younger children.

Consequently, children’s channels that broadcast in multiple languages had a clear lead in viewing figures, D’silva added. The report reveals that the 11 channels with multi-language programming capture 84% of children’s viewership.

The most heavily advertised products on kids’ channels were, unsurprisingly, those aimed at children, from brands such as Fisher Price and Boost; but mums were also heavily targeted with family-oriented products, such as those from Colgate, Harpic and Vicks.

Sourced from IndianTelevision.com; additional content by WARC staff