Animation Biz is in a Disruptive Mode

By Pickle  October 16, 2023
Animation Biz is in a Disruptive Mode, Pickle Media

Unravel Powerkids Entertainment CEO Manoj Mishra’s vision for IP creation, India’s storytelling prowess and the three pivotal goals Powerkids Entertainment aims to conquer post-MIPCOM. Pickle Chats with Manoj Mishra

As the animation landscape undergoes transformative shifts towards immersive media, metaverse, and virtual production, we dive into the dynamic world of animation and intellectual property (IP) ownership in an exclusive interview with Manoj Mishra, the CEO of Powerkids Entertainment, and a beacon in the animation industry for over 25 years. From co-production treaties to maximizing content exposure across platforms, Mishra provides insights into the challenges and opportunities that define the industry’s trajectory.

What’s on your mind while at MIPCOM… What are your expectations?

We’re looking forward to showcasing our latest intellectual properties generated through Powerkids at MIPCOM this year. We are confident in the appeal and quality of our shows and are keen to establish beneficial industry collaborations, recognizing MIPCOM as a critical platform for connecting with industry leaders, buyers, and potential partners in the ever-changing entertainment scene.

What are the objectives of Powerkids Entertainment going forward?

Our primary goal in the market is to find co-production partners for our upcoming Powerkids IPs. Furthermore, with a large and diverse catalogue that includes nostalgic classics, contemporary hits, and original programming, we hope to identify suitable broadcasters and streamers to ensure our content reaches its deserving audience, demonstrating our commitment to both innovation and effective content distribution.

Powerkids has a slate of deals in Jio TV platform, a series of broadcast deals across markets.. work with SERGIO BONNELI EDITORE S.p.A., ITALY to create first-ever 3D animated series on beloved children’s character Martin Mystère, aka Martin Mystère… How do you analyze the market and how difficult is it to traverse this field?

We are fortunate to have the trust of our partners, and we are moving forward strategically.” A comprehensive strategy is required to effectively analyze and navigate this industry. Powerkids’ successful Jio TV arrangements and broadcast collaborations demonstrate a significant market presence. The possibility to collaborate with Sergio Bonelli Editore S.p.A. to develop the first-ever 3D animated series based on Martin Mystère is amazing. Strenuous market research, an emphasis on top-tier content quality, strategic distribution, audience segmentation, differentiation in a competitive landscape, and flexibility to changing market dynamics are key factors. Success in this sector is dependent on combining these aspects in order to captivate audiences and position the 3D animated series as a standout contribution to Martin Mystère’s legacy.

Where are we going in the animation IP space, seeing through the lens of the contemporary actual world?

Intellectual property (IP) ownership has continually proven to be critical, since it provides a comprehensive channel for 360-degree monetization. The value of intellectual property is in its adaptability; it allows for revenue creation through numerous channels such as licensing, merchandise, streaming, and adaptations across various media, assuring long-term financial returns and brand expansion potential.

How do we put India’s co-production treaties into action? Animation is now integrated in the co-production process and receives incentives worth more than $300,000. Can you point out some of the challenges?

To activate co-production treaties for animation in India and gain access to incentives in excess of $300,000, interested parties need to find suitable partners in countries where co-production agreements exist. They should next construct a complete proposal and seek clearance from competent authorities in both India and the partner country, guaranteeing treaty compliance. Legal difficulties, cultural and creative differences, quality control, logistical coordination, funding, intellectual property issues, project management, and market access are among the major challenges, demanding professional guidance for successful execution.

For over 25 years, you have been a champion driving the animation space. How do you see this space in the light of technological shifts happening towards immersive media, metaverse and virtual production?

The animation industry has undergone remarkable changes in the last 25 years, and it continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. The animation business is on the verge of a genuinely disruptive period, thanks to the advancement of cutting-edge technologies and the growing influence of immersive experiences such as the metaverse and virtual production. These developments are changing the way stories are told and how audiences interact with content. The metaverse, in particular, offers intriguing prospects for interactive and immersive storytelling, while virtual production techniques are changing the way cartoons are made and integrated into real-world situations. In this ever-changing tech-immersed landscape, our responsibility as champions of this field is to embrace these breakthroughs, explore new boundaries, and create content that captivates and resonates with consumers. I’m eager to see how animation will continue to push the boundaries and inspire the next generation of creative pioneers.

Animation Biz is in a Disruptive Mode, Pickle Media

Broadcast versus streaming versus FAST… How do you see them and how do you make the best of these platforms?

Maximizing revenue and content success involves a dual strategy: effective windowing, which strategically times content releases across platforms, and broad content exposure, which ensures your content reaches diverse audiences on multiple platforms. This approach optimizes revenue by appealing to varied viewer preferences and consumption habits, ultimately leading to greater success in the competitive entertainment market.

Is there a potential for Indian studios now that the government of India has established an AVGC taskforce, and how do we shift gears to capitalize on the opportunity?

The Indian government’s creation of the AVGC task group represents a big potential for Indian studios in animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics. To capitalize on this opportunity, studios should prioritize talent development, content creation, market expansion, legal and technological developments, community engagement, and regulatory compliance, with a heavy emphasis on collaboration and active participation in task force efforts. This proactive approach equips Indian studios to fully capitalize on the expanding AVGC industry’s potential and contribute to its global prominence.

What does the future hold for India’s storytelling and image-making capabilities?

With a rich cultural legacy and a developing talent pool, India’s future in storytelling and image-making is extremely bright. The country has the potential to become a global center for captivating storylines and high-quality visual material. Technology and digital tool advancements, together with global demand for different stories, position India to play a vital role in determining the future of storytelling and picture production on a global scale.

What are the three goals you hope to attain after MIPCOM?

Our strategy relies around developing new collaborations, particularly in underdeveloped markets, and constantly recognizing emerging trends that we may utilize for future growth. We position ourselves for long-term success and innovation in the entertainment industry’s ever-changing landscape by fostering connections, extending our global presence, and remaining at the forefront of industry trends.

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