Edutainment firm Sprout Studios aims to start regional channels in India, as it expands to international markets

Sprout Studios, which runs a learning channel called NuNu TV on YouTube, plans to roll out new language channels in Marathi, Telugu, Gujarati, among others, starting with Hindi by September this year, NuNu TV, Rahul Rohilla, told FinancialExpress Online. Additionally, it plans to roll-out an artificial intelligence (AI) -based app for senior citizens by August 2022. “Also, we plan to enter the Spanish territories and create content in Portuguese, Mandarin and French. All this is slated to be launched in the next quarter, ”Rohilla added

The edutainment channel claims to have received its first round of funds worth Rs 1.2 crore in December 2019, from Risers Accelerator. As per Rohilla, the company is looking to reach fresh funds, however he refused to divulge the exact amount. India’s animation and VFX industry is expected to grow at a rate of 29% to Rs 180 billion by 2024, was valued at Rs 83 billion in 2021, as per latest data from market research firm Statista.

The channel produces animated videos based on English rhymes for kids between the age group of two to five. The channel which was rolled out in January 2020 in the middle of the on-going pandemic claims to have clocked more than 17 lakh subscribers in 18 months. The channel presently has about 60 rhymes. According to Rohilla, a single episode requires a team of 45 to 60 people and takes three to four weeks to get completed. The cost to create content for the channel ranges between Rs 1.5-2 crore.

The company claims to generate 70% of revenue through advertising from YouTube. Additionally, it has inked several content syndication deals with platforms such as Roku- a streaming platform in North America and Canada, Tencent in China and XMedia in Russia. As per Rohilla, content syndication adds to the remaining 30% of revenue. Within that, it claims to keep 80% of the revenue from its partners, in case the content is dubbed by the company.

The company claims that it spends the most on employees which is about 70% of its revenue, while the remaining 30% is invested in technology.

For Rohilla, recruiting the right talent is a challenge. For instance, a degree in Fine Arts starts with studying the basic shapes and sizes of an object or human body. While candidates usually know how to use the tool but lack imagination and conceptualisation. “Education in the animation sector has been sidelined for a long time, due to which the right kind of skills and training at par with the industry standards is missing among the candidates . This mismatch between the education and skills required becomes a challenge in identifying the right talent. The animation institutes primarily teach the tools for animation; what is missing is a proper structure to the course curricula, ”he added.

With the government setting up Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) task force to leverage employment and build domestic capacity to cater to national as well as international market demands, he opines that the animation industry can expect much-needed acceptance in the professional sector and dedicated animation courses, which will help in the growth of the sector.

Read also: Skill-based courses on the rise as ed-tech platforms cash in on the boom

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