The BBC has very recently announced its new Children’s strategy which looks set to deliver an increase in investment in this area with an added focus for online delivery.
*Applause* for the BBC for making what looks like a bold move. TV consumption among kids is in something of a revolution – what might look like mild year-on-year declines in linear consumption have had a stark cumulative effect. In 2016 kids’ linear TV viewing was down -33% compared to 2010.
Of course, we can rest assured our little ones are very likely still enjoying their 2 hours and 17 minutes of TV content each day (if not more), it’s just that this is now increasingly more likely to come via on-demand services. (BTW, the number of times I have explained the joy of serendipitous, scheduled TV to my kids’ blank, disinterested faces continues to baffle and annoy).
Serious point here though, the BBC and others use significant resources in scheduling and promoting content which will not only entertain our children, it will also inspire, stimulate and educate them. It is vital that this content is able to reach kids and compete well along the out-and-out entertainment.
On-demand presents the potential for a dangerous narrowing of repertoires and doesn’t necessarily help the discovery of new content. It is incumbent on public service broadcasters to not only offer more than just the stuff kids want to watch but to get it noticed.
A healthy kids’ TV market also helps mainstream TV via a constant stream of new presenting talent (from Krishnan Guru-Murthy to er, Noel Edmonds) as well as the innovative ideas and techniques first used in kids’ TV.
Via iPlayer and its future iterations, the BBC is very well placed within the on-demand world to continue to inspire our children and further investment in this area will no doubt have a positive effect on the whole industry.
I guess the real challenge is for marketers to develop new ways to communicate to kids outside of the traditional linear promo and within the world of on-demand.