The Future of Animation Distribution: How Streaming and Other Digital Platforms are Changing the Industryadmin
Animation is one of the best ways to portray your imagination and expand your creativity horizon. It is increasingly being applied to expand businesses in a majority of industries including entertainment, education, gaming, advertising, communication and various other sectors.
Advancements in technology and the communication sector are driving growth in the animation industry at a global level. Effortless access to highspeed internet, easy availability of multimedia devices and increasing popularity of OTT platforms, has meant more time spent on streaming platforms than ever before. Consumers also want more of new, engaging and immersive content with high-definition visual effects and realistic animation.
This has led to a growing demand for animation content by both television channels as well as streaming platforms. Animation production and distribution companies like Toonz Media Group, a leading animation studio set up in 1999 in Trivandrum, India, have a number of popular animation shows that have grabbed eyeballs across territories. Toonz as a global leader in creative great quality content for kids strives to ensure that the original IPs developed and produced at our studios continue to entertain the world.
The Rise of Streaming Devices
It all started with the formation of the YouTube platform in 2005 for streaming videos. Its huge success saw Netflix streaming services joining the competition too followed by Amazon Unbox, with Hulu, Disney+ and iQiyi close behind. Even Facebook and Twitter are now part of these streaming services. What started earlier as acquiring previously-released movies and TV shows and replaying them on OTT platforms, soon resulted in these companies producing original content for release exclusively on their own platforms.
This has led to OTTs becoming the fastest-growing platform for animation content and showing steady double digit growth. It is fuelled by their lower costs and easily customizable content that can be viewed anytime as per the consumers’ needs.
With people having to stay home during the recent pandemic, more people turned towards these streaming platforms. Within this period, around 7 million users quit from traditional cable TV in 2020 in favor of streaming services. As cable TV operators haven’t brought down their rates in recent year, streaming platforms are becoming more preferable in terms of cost and customizable choice of content. This has meant a sizeable demand for new animation content too. It also offers greater opportunities for sale and distribution of original animation content created by production houses such as Toonz studios.
The Future of Animation Distribution
Global animation production and distribution is throwing up enormous growth opportunities for animation content creators, distributors and consumers. The size of the global animation market was over USD 372 billion in 2021; in 2022, it rose to USD 391 billion, up by 5%. This annual increase is forecasted to continue growing throughout the decade, surpassing USD 587 billion by 2030.
The media and entertainment industry were the only way for people to stay engaged with the outside world during the pandemic. While TV and OTT witnessed massive spikes in viewership during this period, platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime saw subscribers increasing by over 60%.
Edutainment for Kids
Even before the pandemic hit, the number of children venturing online was on the rise with over 40% of the new internet users being children in 2018. With parents wanting safe content for their kids, there is a great opportunity for value-based and diversity-based educational content production. This is expected to be a great driving force for the industry in the coming decade. It’s also an immense opportunity for production houses like Toonz Studios to come up with responsible animated educational shows which provide a wholesome value based entertainment. Such programs can be designed to ingrain values in kids at the same time make them entertaining.
OTT Deliver Higher ROI
To remain relevant in this competitive market, OTT platforms need to continue coming up with fresh video content and adapting to newer distribution models and technologies. The massive spike witnessed in consumption on OTT platforms has boosted demand for animation content, especially children’s content. It’s also interesting to note here that this content fetch higher returns on investment with longer shelf lives. Hence, they offer good business for content producers and distributers too.
With subscriptions for streaming services skyrocketing, production houses like the Toonz Studios are leveraging the latest technologies and redefining animated content production and distribution to fulfill the insatiable needs of this genre.