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MipJunior 2014: Broadcasters look for creative content creators to attract kids

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CANNES:  MipJunior 2014 has established one thing for all kids’ content creators and broadcasters: kids want to watch their favourite programme at the place of their choice and time. But the big question now is how to reach these kids who are consuming content using different platforms? This remained the main focus of the panel discussion on ‘What do buyers want: Emerging multi platform acquisition trends’ on day two of MipJunior 2014.

While a lot is being spoken about kids moving to the second screen to consume content, Australian Broadcasting Corporation head of children’s TV Deirdre Brennan informed that in Australia even now close to 89 per cent of children’s viewing happens on traditional TV.

Today, kids are ready to watch the content over and over again. “With so many platforms, we will now have to devise ways to reach to these platforms,” said Disney Channels Worldwide VP worldwide programming strategy, acquisitions and co-productions Karen K Miller.

The increasing number of platforms poses another problem, of not being sure about which platform the consumer is consuming content from.  Citing the example of Germany, ZDF head of international co-production and acquisition Nicole Keeb said, “90 per cent of content viewing happens on TV. Being a public broadcaster, ZDF is also obliged to deliver content for TV first, followed by online or other platforms.

Broadcasters world over feel that the television monitoring data is still evolving. “The quality of data is important, since we want to monitor the behavior of the consumers. Better data also helps us strategise better and know which platform is better for our audience,” said Cartoon Network VP content acquisitions and co-productions Adina Pitt.

The session also delved on what these tech-savvy kids are doing on portable devices. “They are watching their favourite shows, playing games, they are using it in every way possible for entertainment,” informed Miller.

With numerous kids’ channels offering almost the same content, it becomes important for channels to ensure that kids associate with the brand. “Kids are smart. They know the brand and associate with it. For us, word of mouth publicity helps. In fact the consumer becomes the marketer,” said Pitt.

The broadcasters, while they have their core target audience, they also feel that there should be entry points. “So while Disney is considered more of a girls’ channel, we do have entry points for boys,” added Miller.

For Australian Broadcasting Corporation, until a few years back, it had started looking at children as a separate audience. “We have now started looking at bringing both parents and kids together through our content,” said Brennan.

Brennan also feels that reality shows have seeped in Australian television industry. “I want to bring back storytelling on television,” she opined.

Another key point brought out during the session was that while internet has increased access to content, it is the responsibility of the content creators to ensure that kids are able to find the content.

On a parting note, when World Screen group editorial director Anna Carugati, the moderator for the session, asked what was missing in the kids broadcasting space, Amazon Studios head of kid’s programming Tara Sorensen said, “There is a need for more creative content. The creators need to spend time in creating content.”

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