What’s the thought behind launching a
separate channel for Marvel?
We believe it is time for such a channel. With the Disney channel we have the kids and family angle, with Marvel it gives us the opportunity to tap into the action/adventure space. Seeing the popularity of Marvel, I think there is a need to have a base and a home front.
The launch is more about building a base over the next few months, so that by the time the summer vacations begin, the base is already there. The users would have got habituated to the content by then.
strong, established players?
If there is a market out there that wants this
kind of content, then they will find a way to see it.
The Marvel TG is everybody who loves Marvel. Having a separate platform for Marvel helps us break down the universe and help new viewers understand. That is going to be our endeavour – make Marvel HQ the platform to go to for people who love Marvel but don’t necessarily know all about it and want to know more.
We are currently starting off with 40 per cent of the schedule as Marvel content accompanying the launch and as we go forward, we will think of growing that. The
thrust will be the summer season. I don’t really think viewers look at genres.
They look at the story. They don’t see a Spiderman live action movie or Spiderman animated series as separate entities.
The series will be animated, while the live action will be in the form of movies. The objective is to have a home for all things Marvel.
English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu – so viewers can choose a language of their preference.
We have an extensive multi-media plan. Currently our focus is on creating a base for our viewers as well as a base for Marvel HQ.
We are looking at consumer engagement activities and will share the details as we go forward.
I think right now Marvel is at such a level that it feels local already. If you talk to anybody who has watched any Marvel movie, especially the way it is dubbed and the kind of references that are there, you will realise why it has become so prominent; it is because how we connect with it. The objective of localisation is to connect with the people.
It’s a new base; right now we have got 8,000 super-heroes to manage! Marvel characters are spontaneously recalled, and most of them are high in affinity as well. Obviously, the popular ones are those who form the Avengers; everybody’s been seeing them for the last 10 years, the most popular ones being Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spiderman. Spiderman, I think, for the longest time has been the first Marvel super-hero in India and a lot of us grew up with him.
Kids like to be surprised, they like new concepts, they want to see a lot of things that surprise them – something unexpected, something to do with today’s technology pounded into a wall that they understand, and they are very happy to keep watching what they love. Kids need aspirational characters, someone they want to look up to – negative or positive, it doesn’t matter. They want someone to emulate, someone to be when they role play. It’s all about role play for kids, especially those below the age of 8, where they adopt the persona. Therefore, they need characters that they can connect with.
Kids will watch content wherever it is made available to them. So, it really depends on what their dynamics are and where they are.
Kids adapt very well, so it’s unlikely to change. Having said that, television is still the biggest platform of reach in the country. If you want to build something, if you want to reach out to everyone, and linear platforms are your answer.
As far as OTT programming for Marvel HQ channel goes, at this point in time we are considering it as a linear platform.