DQE: Moving up the success ladder with licensing

The animation industry is evolving like never before and this trend is being best taken forward by DQ Entertainment International (DQE) across the world. DQE is a global animation, gaming and live act...
DQE: Moving up the success ladder with licensing

The animation industry is evolving like never before and this trend is being best taken forward by DQ Entertainment International (DQE) across the world. DQE is a global animation, gaming and live action entertainment production and distribution company.

Multiple licensing and merchandising deals have been signed by the company in this regard. 'Jungle Book', the home grown intellectual property from the house of DQE is in the lime light. The aim of the company is to provide the property, the right platform. The property is being sold to over 110 countries for broadcast, moving towards 360° monetization through licensing and merchandising.

Some of the best partners are identified to represent this beautiful property worldwide. Manoj Mishra, Senior VP Sales and Licensing - DQ Entertainment comments, "We already have onboard many major licensing agents like ZDF Enterprises for Germany & German speaking Europe, TF1 for France & French speaking Europe, D& C for Israel, CPLG for Iberia, Japan, and UK, and talks are on with many others. We are also developing Peter Pan in HD 3D, Lassie and friends, Feluda, Omkar and many others. Balkand and Ravan - are two popular mythological TV feature from DQE that had been aired on Cartoon Network last year and are in the second season now."

Retail channels involved The ripple created by licensing and merchandising activities worldwide for Jungle Book, even before its broadcast indicates its tremendous fan-following worldwide. "As a major intellectual property owner, our focus has been to identify the right partners/agents to represent the property in their respective territories. The agents play an important role in helping us to license out the properties in their respective local region," says Mishra.

The company is also actively involved in the negotiations for certain categories like home video, publishing, toys and plush, apparels etc, being in direct touch with the licensee and finalising deals with them on a pan-Europe basis. The licensing deal's details DQE is already associated with back to school products like school back packs, school bags, courier bags, satchel, string bags etc in France. The destinations also include Benelux and Israel. "Also, a major publishing deal has been finalised in French language for France and various French speaking territories. It has to be kept in mind that these deals were struck even before the show was aired, which is truly an indication of the show's popularity," adds Mr Mishra. In addition many more deals are on the verge of being finalised worldwide.

Product categories: The product offerings primarily include toys and plush, clothing accessories, bed linen, back to school products, outdoors, footwear, arts and crafts, sports items, nightwear, watches and clocks, towels and bath accessories, stationary and paper products, food and beverages, health and beauty products, publishing and many other products that cater to children. Mishra avers, "Kids should be able to incorporate their favorite characters into their lives through these merchandise products."

Target audience Target audiences are largely based on the offerings which one has in his/her platter. The audience as put by Mishra is show-oriented, each show implies its specific target audience. He opines, "For instance, in the case of Jungle book, the primary focus would be on the children between the age group of 6-10 years of age, meanwhile 'Balkand' which is another home grown IP would appeal to kids between the age group of 6-9 years." "To recoup the enormous investment that we had made, we took the licensing route" said Manoj Mishra, Senior VP Sales and Licensing - DQ Entertainment in a candid interview with License India.

1. What are the price points (range) for this licensed merchandise?

Pricing is an important criterion when it comes to merchandise. Since we do business worldwide, the price band usually varies from region to region as well as on the products range. But we are doing all we can to maintain a balance between quality and price of the products. The price range would be maintained such that, parents wouldn't want to deny their child's favorite merchandise because it is over-priced.

2. Is there a specific reason behind choosing 'Jungle Book'?

Jungle Book is one of the greatest classics written by the famous writer Rudyard Kipling and we had great faith in the property. The next step was to do extensive research on it. This is a really important step for an in-depth understanding in terms of the exploitation of the property. We had great support from some of our reputed partners to take it forward, writing done in London - with some of the famous names, broadcasting rights pre-bought! Jungle book was ready to take shape. Having completed a few episodes on the series, it has truly lived up to our expectations. It is filled with action, adventure and comedy coupled with amazing characters and beautiful panorama of the jungle to complement the story line. The new age Mowgli and Friends will surely find a place in the hearts of millions of fans.

3. What are the benefits that you are looking at via this licensing arrangement? What has been your strategy/purpose behind the same?

Licensing and merchandising is a step further in moving up the value chain for complete monetisation of the property. A major source of revenue can be generated via various licensing deals. To recoup the enormous investment that has been put in developing a major property, we cannot solely rely on the broadcasting deals, that's where licensing comes in.

4. What is your marketing strategy for the licensed merchandise?

We can put it as 'Simple yet effective'. Our strategy is quite simple, greater the audience- larger the followers it creates. We are very well-placed when it comes to the broadcasting part of the show. Jungle Book has been sold to more than 110 countries and still counting. Equal emphasis is given to both the pay and free TV broadcasters so that the show reaches maximum audience. We are also planning for some promotional activities with our licensees so that the products get maximum visibility.

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