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Kids TV Report : Generalist and specialist channels increase touchpoints with kids

22/09/2016

The new January-June 2016 issue of the Kids TV Report produced by Eurodata TV Worldwide shows the momentum of many of the children-oriented programmes, and also delivers a full and accurate analysis of recent TV hits with children in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK. "These days, channels - both generalist and specialist - are broadening the scope of their activities and their sources of inspiration, in order to discover the winning formula", commented Avril Blondelot, International Research Manager at Eurodata TV Worldwide/Médiamétrie.

Kids TV Report : Generalist and specialist channels increase touchpoints with kids
Upward trend in children's blocks for some generalist channels

The highlight of the first half of this year has been the (sometimes spectacular) yearly rise in the children's block audience for some of the most powerful generalist channels in terms of market shares. Among these, the biggest advances were made by Channel 5 in the UK (+24% January-June 2015 / January-June 2016 among 4-15 year olds) and by France 5 (+30% among 4-14 year olds). France Télévisions aired no fewer than seven out of the top 20 animation and children's series for 4-14 year olds, banking on sure successes. Among them : ten-year franchises for France 3 (“Tom and Jerry”), young heroes brought up to date on France 5 (“Noddy, Toyland Detective”) and strong boys' programming on France 4 (“Lego Ninjago”).
 
Specialist channels – a broadcasting model still popular with children

Alongside the growth observed in the children's blocks for certain generalist channels, specialist channels also held up well. Therefore, children programming seemed to be in good health all around.

Regarding the specialist channels, there has been an upward trend in comparison with last year in four out of five of the countries studied. The largest increase was noted in France (+6% on the year). Only the UK's specialist channels did not show growth figures (-1% on the year among 4-15 year olds).

Overall at the start of 2016, specialist children channels accounted for over half of all TV watched by children in Germany (50.5%) and 44.3% in Spain. In the latter country, Clan has boosted its position as leader in the 4-12 year old audience with the addition of new shows: “The Furchester Hotel”, “Four and a Half Friends”. The smallest market share was in France, albeit still accounting for one third of television programming watched by children.

In particular, these channels maintained a strong audience share among children of pre-school age.

Extending the brand strategies

Riding on their success, channels have increased access for young viewers. For instance, the channel Toggo Plus launched in June of this year in Germany. It broadcasts Super RTL's programmes, which finish at 8:15pm, with an hour’s difference. This opens the channel up to the attractive prime time slot during which other channels, especially Ki.Ka, are broadcasting children's television. For example in early 2016, “Vicky the Viking” (Ki.Ka) posted one of three audience peaks in this first half of the year, across all genres and channels combined. At the start of 2016 in the UK, CBBC and CITV also extended their broadcast schedules later into the evening (until 9pm).

Beyond linear scheduling, some channels have mastered web rules as well. Several recently launched apps serve to demonstrate this drive. For example, Cartoon Network Anything offers very brief programmes (10-15 seconds long) that are specifically designed for mobile devices, following the format popularised by Vine and Snapchat. Another mobile usage adopted by the channels was Disney LOL which launched in June 2016, using web-based formats (memes) intended for sharing on social networks or Disney Mix, which since August has provided an instant messaging app enabling users to build up communities around its brands.

Diverse sources of inspiration and collaboration

11 programmes are in the top 20 (kids and pre-schoolers) in at least two countries. Of particular note, the strong performance of the newly launched “Super Wings”, could very well lend wings to co-productions between Asia, Europe or the US in the upcoming years, as did for example “Miraculous Ladybug”, from the second half of 2015.
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