Research 4: All change? Scooby-Doo, where are you? Still here….! – Report
- To help work out how to create TV content and play, go back to the physical play that helps children learn to make sense of their role in life ad the situations they encounter.
- Cartoons are still the most popular type of TV show for kids and most of the favourites have been around for the last ten years. They offer fantasy, humour and the ability to relate to characters.
- The most popular live action shows of today are relatively new. They appeal to older girls 8+ as they are aware of their development, social experiences, brands etc. This helps them how to react to real life situations.
- Freedom in the digital world is increasing. We need to realise this needs to be safe and take a guiding role.
Technology is changing but are kid’s content choices today any different from the late 60’s when Scooby Doo was first created?
We may be giving our 5 year olds iPads and iPhones but they are still enjoying a good old fashioned swing, skipping rope, Roald Dahl and clapping games.
Jo Cliff, MD of Platypus Research, presented a study based on an expert view point as well as a kids eye view. They went into family homes with children aged 6 to 12 to find out why changes are or are not happening. Some highlights:
- There is more reading going on than TV viewing. There may be several platforms to read on, but a good old fashioned book from both new and time honoured authors is still the top choice (especially at bedtime).
- It is the quality in the stories that appeal. The humorous content, weird and wonderful facts, fantastical things that help set the imagination free, enable their ability to understand and master the narrative. Books fulfil a need that no other media can, allowing them to escape inside their own imagination.
- Child’s play and media preferences change along with their cognitive and social development. Self confidence increases when they can problem solve and find solutions. Good content allows them to do this.
- Games such as Minecraft give kids role play, freedom and fantasy. It is a great outlet for self expression and mastery that promotes creativity and thought. A social activity where they can play and share with both boys and girls whilst learning and mastering a skill.
- They like things they can comprehend i.e. humour, sport, film, different priorities for boys and girls.
- YouTube is filling the need for ‘sit forward entertainment’ where they can be involved and enjoy watching other children. The Unwrapping craze is a 21st century lucky dip and as technology changes, they will be immersed on many different platforms.
- The future of content development is key to safeguard children. They do not have time for unstructured play but they are being empowered to develop their own world and fun with less constraints.
- Kids media experiences have widened to incorporate more internet and mobile time but kids are still watching TV.
- Over 20% of children watch more than 19 channels.
- You Tube is one of the main media channels in children’s lives today.
- There is a great appetite for short form.
- Binge watching is growing
- TV’s are disappearing from bedrooms along with the recording of programmes.
- Kids watch what they want, when they want, on the device they want
- Children assume that wifi should be available and free everywhere.
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Dr. Maya Götz
International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television (IZI) at the Bayerischer Rundfunk
Mint Research Ltd