Report – Disruption – What’s Next?

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 2:55pm by Sian Reed

As the landscape of Children’s TV changes, what is next for the companies involved?


• Diversifying platforms still need great content and engagement.
• Most viewing is still done via traditional TV but binge-watching tends to be on-demand.
• Knowing your audience and researching thoroughly is the key to making content that lasts.


Jon Watts, MTM and host, jumped right in by asking the panellists to discuss changes to the UK market in recent years. All three panellists agreed that the resulting factor has been the way in which we consume content.

Alison Bakunowich, SVP general manager at Nickelodeon, thought that there had been three main changes: a creative generation, portable devices and on-demand services. “We’re in the middle of a huge change in how we consume content.”

Lucy Murphy, Head of Kids’ Content at Sky, echoed this idea: “The need for shows to connect with hasn’t changed but the access point has. Kids are using phones all day but we still need great content, stories and engagement.”

Jean-Phillippe Randisi, CEO of Zodiak Kids at Zodiak Media, believed that the defining element is the concentration of ‘franchise power’.
With multi-platforms come changes in viewing behaviours and preferences. Alison Bakunowich said the focus should be on the purpose of each platform. Lucy Murphy agreed: “There is a much more immersed experience in content as long as the product is fantastic.” She also made a great point that tweens and teens have no need to socialise anymore, they ‘sofa-lise’!

Jean-Phillippe Randisi thinks that although the business model changes, the content stays the same. “The beating heart is always content and TV. The hits are the same as they ever were.”

Looking ahead, Jon Watts asked the panel to discuss opportunities for children’s TV companies going forwards and how can we ensure that they are a success.

Knowing your audience and having engaging content is something in which Alison Bakunowich is a firm believer. Similarly, Lucy Murphy agreed that research and spending time with your audience is important. The pre-school market has changed very little compared to the aged 6+, which is evolving at a faster pace. Jean-Phillippe Randisi suggested we look towards other markets. “Look for the few spaces of freedom that are still around such as China or at segments of growing markets.”

Jon Watts then threw four possible scenarios of what the children’s TV market may look like by 2025, from the big global boom, to the great slow down. It was a unanimous opinion across the board that the amount of outlets is currently rising, mostly due to YouTube but the main cause for concern was how to monetise these channels and getting attention away from the bigger franchise companies.

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Sian Reed

About the author

Sian Reed

Sheffield Hallam University, Student

Sian Reed, 25, is currently nearing the end of her Masters degree at Sheffield Hallam University where she is studying sports journalism. Sian has been blogging and writing freelance for a number of years now. Her interests include sport, dance, musical theatre and writing! Read more