Report – Deciphering the Data Puzzle

Posted on: Wednesday 05 July 2017 11:26pm by Catherine Trewavas

Children are increasingly consuming content through online platforms and using many different devices to do so. A panel of experts discuss the use of analytics in monitoring trends, as well as challenges and advantages that come with these developing technologies


  • Children are increasingly turning to online platforms rather than linear TV
  • More digital media consumption means trends can be tracked with greater ease
  • Understanding audiences and data sharing can create commercial opportunities


How can we use data science and analytics to change the way we make content for children? Children’s media consumption has changed dramatically. Over the last decade, 5-15 year olds are now spending more time online than watching linear TV. Harnessing digital data can bring new opportunities, but also brings with it issues relating to safety, integrity and privacy.

According to Joshua Wöhle, the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at SuperAwesome, “we need to look at trends and look at how we can leverage data to enhance products whilst staying within legislation”. Ranja Mohyieldin, Senior Research Manager for Data and Consumer Insights at Turner Kids EMEA, stressed the need to look at content across all platforms. She highlighted that in Europe today, an average family has between 6-12 connected devices. It is more difficult to monitor and extrapolate data for the under 13 category, but with parental consent through a sign-in feature this could be possible.

Peter Robinson, the Global Head of Research at Dubit, suggested that traditional research methodologies have moved on and rather than questioning, we are now observing scenarios and testing behaviour. Audience journeys online are crucial pieces of data in planning and making content. Josh Wöhle said that digital media consumption data and insight makes it possible to identify trends. Moreover, if systems can recognise correlations this saves time for people who would otherwise have to sift through huge spreadsheets of data.

Session Producer Karin Bergvall probed: do digital-only companies have data-related competitive advantages? Wayne Davison, Managing Director for Content Acquisition and Distribution at Little Dot Studios, said it can give digital companies a commercial advantage. “Understanding and growing audiences through YouTube and media buying allows data to be shared with toy companies and stores so the data is self-perpetuating. The data is instant and allows you to progress much quicker.”

The panel were asked what the vision for the future might look like and a variety of scenarios were suggested, such as greater personalisation through online sign-in features, increasingly tailored advertising for apps relying on monetisation and being more open and transparent with competitors. The challenge facing the industry seems to be maintaining the balance between gaining insight so content can be improved and tailored, whilst respecting privacy and regulations.

CMC 2017 Blog Event Reports audiences children's media consumption date devices digital digital media online privacy safety trends

Catherine Trewavas

About the author

Catherine Trewavas

BBC Children's Acquisitions & Independent Animation, Production Management Assistant

Catherine is the Production Management Assistant for BBC Children's Acquisitions and Independent Animation – the team responsible for programmes including ‘Hey Duggee’, ‘Clangers’ and ‘Scream Street’. In addition to her day job, Catherine has a keen interest in journalism and writes articles for BBC newspaper Ariel. Catherine has previously worked… Read more