Bisbo (2016) is an animated news channels (YouTube) in 10 Indian languages. The channels presently have a watch time varying between 40-75 million monthly minutes, watched by adults in the ages of 15-44, more than 1 million combined subscribers and around more than 105 million combined views on YouTube. Bisbo has recently launched an international news channel targeted at the American market. In an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U, Shakir Ebrahim, Founder and Creator, Bisbo, shares the way news can be shared comically.
How has the advent of animation, 2D & 3D has made comic characters and cartoons cooler than ever
Answer: Animation brings ‘life’ to characters in unimaginable ways. All the comic heroes from our childhood now walk, talk and much more! I can only wait to see what happens when newer software is developed to take advantage of the coming technology.
How has an animation made it possible to present comics as serious news journalism in India
Mainstream news journalism has still not really recognized how animation may enhance their industry. Take TV news footage; whatever has been managed to be captured on camera is repeated ad-infinitum in the same loop over and over again, making it irritating to watch. Animation allows recreation, re-imagination and will certainly have a larger space in serious news journalism in the coming future.
How Indian comic industry is maturing, from fantasy to journalism
Not really, Fantasy is still big business as can be seen by all the superhero movies hitting screens. But many of the same movies now integrate real or possible events within their storylines; illustrated books is among the fastest growing sectors in publishing, infographic channels on YouTube are immensely popular and with current events in animation, Bisbo has added to the pool of evolution.
Why illustrated novels are one of the fastest-growing and most popular category in publishing
People are reading less and increasingly consume information through video. Animated content, whether serious or for fun, makes information much more digestible, appealing and easy to understand.
How do marketer see animation and comics as a medium to reach out to their potential customers?
The engineering sector has long used animation to explain how their machines work. The financial sector is among the early adapters to explain ‘boring’ financial concepts especially to rural audiences who are increasingly buying financial savings tools, having bank accounts, etc. This audience may not be very well educated to understand text heavy email and instructions for whom animated representations are perfect.
What are the options you provide for advertisers to promote their products/ solutions ?
We are open to covering a particular product/brand as part of a news story on the industry, where we will use the brand as an example within the story for a few screens. However, in order to provide complete information to our readers, we may if the story requires, speak about competing brands in passing. We will not endorse anything without us actually believing in it and regularly refuse offers from online betting companies, retail chains to explicitly promote their products.
What is the market roadmap for your channels? (Channel expansion, new channels/ genres etc)
The big picture answer is 100 million subscribers by 2024 with an upload 125 videos a day in 25 languages. We are already in 10 languages and 1 million subscribers. I believe we understand the process well enough to grow exponentially.