Blogs in "Blog"

July 2020

CMC 2020 Online: Opening My Eyes….

Posted on: Friday 24 July 2020 11:49pm

Liesl Hammer is an 18 year old intern with ToyLikeMe - the arts and play not-for-profit organisation that campaigns playfully and effectively around disability representation in toys and its capacity to boost self-esteem and grow open minds.  ToyLikeMe is now producing ‘MixMups’ a new animation with disabled lead characters, currently in production at McKinnon and Saunders and Raydar Media. This was explored in one of the Inclusivity Now strand videos for CMC 2020 Online. Through my attendance at the CMC 2020, as part of my internship with ToyLikeMe, I was able to discover what the children’s media industries are doing to improve diversity on and off screen. In September I start a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. As a young disabled woman I was keen to see all…

CMC 2020 Online Blog What has the CMC Ever Done for me?

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Masterclass: Moomins & Pippi Longstocking

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 7:08pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways  ‘Pippi Longstocking’ was central to re-educating children after the second world war and the end of the Hitler Youth. The beauty of Pippi Longstocking as a character is that she is at home doing normal things. ‘Moomins’ reflects Finnish society after the war. Men were working and women were more resourceful. There are parallels between the two Nordic classics by Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren and Finnish writer/illustrator Tove Jansson: both ‘Pippi Longstocking’ and ‘Moomins’ started in an intimate way, are celebrating their seventy-fifth anniversaries, were written by female authors whose lives spanned the twentieth century, and are now being put back on the screen with the ‘Moominvalley’ TV series and a feature film for Pippi. Children’s writer Frank Cotterell-Boyce…

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CMC 2020 Online: The Last Word: What’s Next?

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 5:12pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

CMC Advisory Committee Chair Sue Nott introduced the final session of the conference with a run down of the highlights and thanks to the supporters and contributors in 2020. Despite lockdown, CMC has continued to support the kids’ media industry by keeping it “alive, alert and punching above its weight.” Delegates were then treated to performances from Miss Jacqui and John Kelly of Graeae Theatre. Both writers, musicians and performers, they explained that, as Disabled people, they had faced challenges throughout their lives and dealt with them through a relationship to the arts.  Having worked in the arts for nearly 30 years, with performers both disabled and non-disabled, John understands first hand that inclusion works. He talked about feeling different…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Animation Assemble!

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 5:06pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Flexibility. The flexibility achieved in animation during lockdown is a powerful tool to use in post Covid production & office culture.  Challenges in licensing for children to work in voice whilst in lockdown, technical difficulties and struggle to direct take longer and are harder in lockdown so must be planned for to ensure that kids voices are retained in animation.  The lockdown implementation of virtual writers rooms have helped manage a bar of entry in the U.K. allowing to bring in wider voices from around the world   Host Beth Parker began by asking the panel about the opportunities the animation sector has experienced because its production is suited to the conditions of lockdown.  Kate O’Connor, Director of Animation…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Perspective On… New Trends for Kids in Interactive Content,

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 11:15pm by Kate Dimbleby Rupert Howe

Kate Dimbleby, who produced the CMC video Perspective on... New Trends for Kids in Interactive Content,comsiders "the world turned upside down..." As Act one of 'Hamilton' ends, the lines “the world turned upside down” ring out.   I sing along with my 14 and 12 year old feeling the relevance.  It does seem that way.  And yet, for children, they will soon know no different.  Always growing faster and more flexibly than the adults who entertain them.  In our session, we focus on the New Trends for Interactive - the streaming interactive kids' shows Netflix have been pioneering and how we can no longer see this kind of content as purely additive or complementary. As one of our speakers, Alex Breen from…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 6:07pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

This session began with an invitation from session sponsor Enterprise Ireland to visit the specially created website for CMC delegates to explore what Ireland has to offer creatives: https://irishadvantage.com/events/cmc/. Under the guidance of dragon-wrangler Nigel Clarke, three creatives pitched their projects to the ‘dragons’, who were Jules Borkent (VCNI), Nigel Pickard (Nevision), Adina Pitt (Cartoon Network), and Alison Warner (Blue Zoo Rights). Pitch 1: ‘Umami’ (Jonathan Clarke, Distillery Films) Set in the world of food trucks, this is an animation for 6-11 year olds that is “fun, fast, and full of flavour”. It follows 4 friends whose parents own different trucks selling various street foods. The pitch outlined the world, values, and dramatic tension of the show and introduced the…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Commissioner Conversations- Channels

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 5:26pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways Producers must do their homework. They need to watch the channels and be prepared to explain how the project fits. In normal times meetings would be at markets, but it’s virtual pitches only at the moment. All content should have the potential to go global, even if it starts as a regional or national project. Ben Cajee hosted this year’s commissioner’s conversation with global channels, Warner Media (Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito) and ViacomCBS Networks (the Nickelodeon channels). Before this, he introduced a short Changemaker video featuring disability rights campaigner, Lucy Edwards. In the video, she highlights and challenges the fact that 18% of people of working age have a disability, but in the children’s media industry only 5.7% of…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Write On

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 2:29pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways No tardiness: a deadline is your friend. Study: know your show, know your broadcaster, know your audience, know yourself. Practice and study versatility: different types of writing and platforms always come back to the story. What does your character want? What obstacles will I put in their way? Enjoy and use your network: most of us want to pay the help we received forward to new voices.   The session began with a screening of ‘Why’ by Joshua Haith, an Under-16 Finalist in the PQATV / CMC One-Minute Film Competition, and moderator Sharna Jackson encouraged everyone to view he 15 finalists and vote fore winning film.  The conversation began with Adam Redfern of Red Furnace Productions discussing how to…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Creative Keynote – Cressida Cowell

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 10:44pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaways “Creativity is magic and magic is for everyone!” The key to succeeding is finding your personal quest. Have confidence in your own style, write without rules and create characters to care about! This session opened with Changemaker and comedian Aaron Simmonds who talked about his creative process in lockdown, particularly the importance of trying out ideas and making mistakes to get that spark. During the past few months, he has created a new podcast which is due to be released in the next couple of weeks. He also talked about how comedy has given him the opportunity to redefine how people see his cerebral palsy, saying, “stand-up has opened up a conversation”. Then we joined Waterstones Children’s Laureate and…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Commissioner Conversations- SVODs

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 10:32pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways  The on-demand platforms are serving families well during the pandemic with educational content and art-and-craft shows helping home-schooled kids. Black History and diversity are amongst the projects the platforms would look at getting involved with. The platforms are on the lookout to acquire big brands and little gems. Children’s on-demand television has seen a huge rise in demand this year. Four representatives of companies that continue to feed the appetite of kids in the UK and territories through the world were on hand to talk to Chris Jarvis and explain what sort of opportunities are on offer to content providers.   Brenda Bisner, Chief Content Officer at Kidoodle.TV, described the service as a streaming app for kids; a safe…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Masterclass: Moomins and Pippi Longstocking

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 7:03pm by Sharon Miller

Sharon Miller,  Session Producer admits to being a "late adopter" but is now a convert. Remarkably - if not alarmingly - I grew up without 'Pippi Longstocking' or 'Moomins' in my childhood.  My loss.  However...the upside is that I've been able to discover Pippi and Moomins as an adult - and understand quite how extraordinary they both  are.  The webinar on Friday afternoon at 2pm is a unique opportunity to find out and understand more about these two fascinating women - Tove Jansson and Astrid Lindgren, who created 'Moomins' and 'Pippi Longstocking', respectively.  It's an opportunity not to be missed. Two women whose lives were the seedbeds for their stories, characters and worlds that - for 75 years - have beguiled,…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: The BFI YACF: Success, Learning and the Future

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 2:39pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways The first year of the YACF has helped strengthen the production pipeline throughout the UK. Please use word of mouth to help increase the plurality of voices the YACF seeks to amplify. Use available funding to help you look through the unknowns to a bright future. Nico Franks of C21 Media explained that BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund was introduced at the CMC in 2019. Jackie Edwards, head of the YACF at BFI, revealed that, over the last year, the fund received 227 applications, of which BFI approved 81. Around £13 million has been awarded in funding. Lockdown made public service even more important as a means of creative expression for children, and the fully online YACF application process…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Commissioer Conversations VODs

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 9:42am by Fayon Dixon

Session producer Fayon Dixon realty produced a research session about the SVODs for the CMC Friday Webinars.  Undaunted, she returns to the subject for CMC 2020 Online. The build up to Wednesday's Commissioners Conversations, has been another fantastic learning curve!! This is my second time producing for CMC and during lockdown and it's been an great insight to what some of the largest names in commissioning are up to and what they would like to hear from you. In the last couple of months whilst preparing, I have seen just why this platform is so necessary for enabling future ideas to reach the ears of our commissioners. I've had to request so much information from our speakers to ensure we…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Lockdown, Learning and Brands

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 12:07am by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Navigating new platforms as a gateway to the brand is best executed by deeply learning about the platform, its content managers and what they want to promote. Otherwise the content will get lost. Lockdown has shone a light on positive content that helps children move through tiresome tasks in a positive, healthy way. A child’s existing interests are a great gateway to embedding STEM in their play. Moderator Lucy Gill began the discussion with Editor in Chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday. Guinness found that the best way to reach kids is through partnership. He has access to a huge amount of content because they are currently receiving one hundred applications a week for records. The company moved…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Commissioner Conversations – PSBs

Posted on: Tuesday 07 July 2020 5:58pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways Covid-19 has affected most broadcasters commissioning practices and schedules, but lockdown has produced interesting new content (including by young people). Broadcasters are investing more in diversity on- and off-screen, and YACF is enabling them to make better content choices. The future points to fewer linear models of programming, moving to more on-demand to reflect young people’s viewing habits. Most commissioners said that Covid-19 had pushed their schedules forward, replacing what could have been new programming for 2021. However, lockdown had generated a lot of spontaneous new content. All panellists agreed that the Young Audience Content Fund (YACF) was a great success and all had benefited from it. There was awareness from each of the speakers that BAME involvement in…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Question Time – Right Now and What’s Next?

Posted on: Tuesday 07 July 2020 3:38pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaways       The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely impacted children’s lives, as well as the media industry.       This period of time does, however, present an opportunity to pause and bring our attention to issues affecting young people.       Content should reflect the diversity of audiences and encourage voices to be heard.       Creativity can flourish in challenging times, and we need to encourage policy makers to listen to young people's campaigning, as well as support the mental health of future generations. Right Now and What’s Next? Looking ahead to a future post-Covid 19, this session explored what’s next. Led by Newsround’s Leah Boleto, panellists Tracy Brabin MP, Ollie Bray from Lego Foundation,…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: CMC Keynote Panel: Black Lives Matter

Posted on: Monday 06 July 2020 9:02pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways  Diversity in gatekeeping will help decision makers understand and produce authentic, full and complete stories in digital as well as broadcast.  Discomfort with talking about race is long held, but this has shifted with the death of George Floyd. We owe it to young people now and in the future to talk about it openly and instigate change.  Teams are more effective when they are diverse. It is important to speak up and offer possible solutions, even when you feel like you’re not the most important person in the room. Sue Nott, CMC’s Advisory Group Chair, welcomed delegates to CMC 2020 and introduced CMC Changemaker Nandi Bushell on her drums. Nandi has been raising awareness for Black Lives Matter…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Lockdown, Learning and Brands

Posted on: Monday 06 July 2020 7:06pm by Hannie Kirkham

Hannie Kirkham is Research and Business Development Manager at Oriel Square Publishing and Strategy - and a former student volunteer at CMC. Producing the Learning session for this year's webinars, she outlines the thinking behind it. Learning and education is, and always has been, a key element of many edutainment brands - even before lockdown. The last few months have thrown in some added challenges for educators and content providers alike. Challenges are always partnered with opportunities, and for the world of edtech and edutainment, that is very much the case. There has been a huge surge in the use of online learning materials, with companies opening their resources to help during the crisis, and schools and parents relying more and more…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Research

Posted on: Monday 06 July 2020 6:56pm by Vickie O'Malley

Vickie O'Malley (MD, Rockpool Licensing) has Executive Produced the CMC Research strand for several years... Pearls of wisdom from CMC research sessions have been invaluable to me and to Rockpool. The first half of my career was in the retail and toy industries where data, research and consumer insight are plentiful as can be. As much as I love my licensing life, I’m afraid the same cannot be said for consumer products! CMC research sessions provide intel and highlight opportunities and trends that have made a real difference to my business and the service I provide to my clients. For businesses large and small, access to quality research ‘for free’ is just one of the amazing things that comes with…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Focus On…

Posted on: Monday 06 July 2020 2:40pm by Sarah Baynes

Sarah Baynes is deputy chair of the CMC Advisory Committee and our go-to person for links with China. She has executive produced the Focus On INternational business strand this year... Our Focus On... strand is once again laser focussed (appropriately enough) on giving you the up to date view-point on territories that are keen and open for business with the UK. In an increasingly editorially competitive and commercially challenging global landscape, knowing your options and allies will be the lifeblood to industry survival as well as yours. This year we are focussing on Canada, China and Ireland -  with contributions from Producers, Distributors and organisations with knowledge of routes to finance. Join them right here right now (as they are…

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June 2020

CMC Webinars: Report: Life After Lockdown – An Opportunity for Change?

Posted on: Sunday 28 June 2020 12:23am by Cate Zerega

Key takeaways: The inspiration produced in a creative collaborative environment is difficult to replicate in the remote-work model and will hopefully be nurtured in post-lockdown business. Distractions can be a useful part of the creative process. If you only head down a linear path you only produce linear work. Sueann began by asking the panelists how they had made the adjustment to life in lockdown.  Each panelist found that they had adapted quickly to the technical components of working remotely and found that lockdown created a more open conversation about the challenges of organizing childcare. However, employee isolation and creating a collaborative environment while working remotely were issues needing more dynamic problem-solving. The panel agreed that maintaining motivation and creativity…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Best Of…

Posted on: Saturday 27 June 2020 2:03am

Michael Carrington was a founder member of the CMC Advisory Committee.  Having been the first Controller of CBeebies, and subsequently Chief Content Officer at Cartoon Network and CEO of Zodiak Kids, he is now Director of the Entertainment and Specialist Division at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.   CMC asked several figures in the children's media industry to choose their favourite moments from CMC Keynotes. You can see their choices in the Best Of... strand of CMC 2020 video content.   This is Michael Carrington's recollection of CMC past... "A big hello to you all planning to attend CMC 2020 Online. I’ve had a long and chequered history in the kids' media industry but I'm certainly a long-term supporter of CMC from…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Inclusivity Now – The Road To MixMups and Beyond

Posted on: Thursday 25 June 2020 1:38pm by Rebecca Atkinson

Rebecca Atkinson explains what lies behind her CMC Inclusivity Now video and describes the (bumpy) road to 'MixMups'                     The Children's Media Conference Facebook Group Chat - Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC. 'MixMups'? What is this show, where did it come from and why is it smashing the mould? As part of CMC 2020 ‘Inclusivity Now’, I’ll be sharing my story as the Creator and Executive Producer of 'MixMups', a pre-school stop-motion animation and toy brand about three little friends and a magic mixable fancy dress box.  The show features disabled lead characters…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Perspective On… The Golden Rules for Creating Great Kids’ Cartoons

Posted on: Monday 22 June 2020 11:47am by Sam Harris

San Harris from Hook Research , producing this video for the Perspective On... series for CJC 2020, finds his Ikigai... What does it take to make a great cartoon? That’s the question we at Hook are exploring at this year’s Virtual Children’s Media Conference – speaking with writers, animators, producers, and researchers and distilling their thoughts into positive and inspirational ‘Golden Rules’ for creators and thought-leaders in the kids animation space. These experts include: Sophie Deen, the CEO and Founder of Bright Little Labs – a media company who are creating interactive, STEM-themed stories for young people Rebecca Hobbs, Freelance Writer and Creative Consultant – previously, the head-writer on 'Sadie Sparks' and currently working on a number of exciting, new…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: Perspective On…Listening to Kids

Posted on: Friday 19 June 2020 7:00pm

Esther Kaufmann and Laura Hamm - producing and  presenting one of the CMC 2020 "Perspective On..." videos  urge us to listen to kids, and tell us how to do it Perspective On... Listening to Kids  has a Chat area in the Children’s Media Conference Facebook Group. Delegates can use it to leave messages, ask questions and discuss. The call at last year’s CMC was loud. The young Changemakers were clear – we adults have to listen more. If we want to create media that speaks to children, that stays with them, we have to listen. But real listening is hard. We understand children best when they talk like adults, so there’s a lot we don’t hear. That means we miss…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview: CMC Quiz

Posted on: Thursday 18 June 2020 11:33pm by Steve Wynne

Steve Wynne is hosting the CMC Quiz Night on Wednesday 8 July, from 8-10 pm  Bored of Zoom?  Bored of quizzes?  THEN LOOK NO FURTHER. This is the Quiz to end ALL QUIZZES.  There will be questions, there will be answers.  There will be PRIZES.  Imagine not just beating your friends and family BUT EVERYONE IN THE CHILDREN'S MEDIA INDUSTRY to be crowned the CMC Quiz Champion 2020 (and forever as this is the first and last time we’re doing it). Are you smarter than a ten year old?  Do you know what celebs looked like as kids?  Think you know your TV themes?  No round will be boring, and no round too difficult. Hosted by someone who almost got onto BBC…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview – The CMC International Exchange

Posted on: Thursday 18 June 2020 2:04am

CMC International Exchange Exec. Helen McAleer and CMC China Connect Exec.Sarah Baynes want to encourage everyone with content, IP, ideas and talent to sell, to attend the world's friendliest kids' media market. Helen McAleer: I am so happy to be hosting the CMC International Exchange again this year on 2 July. It will be odd not to be rushing about in the Victorian splendour of Sheffield Town Hall, but we won't let a global pandemic stop us from putting on this incredibly useful and fun event!  Online face-to-face meetings are clearly working - even for pitching at media markets. Of course it hasn't been without its challenges. But with our incredible management and technical team we are delighted to be virtually…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview – The CMC Karaoke Show

Posted on: Tuesday 16 June 2020 5:47pm by Maria Pullen

                      Maria Pullen (Volunteer AP on the CMC Karaoke Show) tunes up for a great night.... in. When the working day is done, CMC just wants to have fun! And what’s more fun than one of the highlights of the conference – karaoke night. CMC lore dictates that karaoke is a place for forging bonds with friends old and new. With that in mind, we didn’t want to skip it this time around, especially when staying connected is as important as ever. This year we will be hosting our very first online ‘CMC Karaoke Show’ on Thursday 9 July, 8pm-10pm which will be streamed live via Zoom straight to you!…

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CMC 2020 Online: Preview – SkillBuilder: Pitch Yourself Perfect!

Posted on: Tuesday 16 June 2020 12:40am by Justine Bannister

Justine Bannister - Producing and Facilitating the CMC SkillBuilder - on why it's the perfect opportunity to enhance your skills AND make vital new connections... Because of the unique circumstances we all find ourselves in, CMC has decided - as part of its mission to keep the kids' community connected and informed - to make SkillBuilder available as a separate ticket from the main conference in 2020. It's fantastic value for money, at just £30+VAT for 90 minutes of expert guidance and the chance to meet some of the best known names in the business of kids' media. CMC SkillBuilder aims to help you build, develop and refresh your pitching skills with a mix of advice and hands-on learning. I'll soon be…

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CMC Webinars: SVODs: The Producer’s Perspective

Posted on: Friday 12 June 2020 6:39pm

Fayon Dixon welcomed the participants and introduced two perspectives on how the SVoD platforms are conducting their kids' business and their relationship with the young audience.   Ampere Analysis Richard Cooper of Ampere Analysis began the session with a look at the recent data regarding the main UK SVOD providers and their catalogues of kids’ content: Netflix 12%, Amazon 11%, NowTV 16%. These established SVODs broadly maintain a consistent level of kids’ content with some slight growth in kids’ TV shows on Netflix and a slight decline on NowTV in favour of kids’ movies. To maintain relevance, SVODs are having to refresh content. On all platforms, more content has been added than removed. This is especially evident since lockdown. The growth in the catalogues…

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