Debbie Macdonald, kids TV consultant (right in above photo)
It’s an exciting time in kids entertainment right now and I’m intrigued to hear how this brave new world we find ourselves in is being approached. As a MIPCOM regular for many years I’ve witnessed the good times and the bad times in the kids sector. I’ve seen fantastic creative ideas move into production but I’ve also seen ideas killed because business plans didn’t stack up. When the recession hit, control was relinquished to the accountants and creativity was squashed! But the light at the end of that very dark tunnel has been growing brighter and brighter and a new landscape has emerged. Traditional TV is no longer the only route and alternative players looking to invest have entered our world. Kids want to interact with their content and Minecraft and Angry Birds have taken the kids world by storm. The creative community has its mojo back, buoyed by the endless possibilities of where new technology and new platforms can take us! But, whilst the landscape has changed, kid’s insatiable appetite for good content remains and they want it anytime, anyplace and anywhere. The big players will always make a lot of noise on the Croisette, but I also believe it’s important to meet with the smaller players too as this is often where you’ll find hidden gems that need nurturing. The most commercially successful shows start with great stories and I hope to see fresh, exciting ideas at MIPCOM that will get everyone talking. After all, content is king and long may he reign!
Miguel Sabino, managing director, Thumb Media
I’m actually curious and looking forward to see how the children’s entertainment moves on in three different aspects: 1. How existing ‘traditional’ children’s brands will move forward with their digital integration strategy 2. Which new properties will show up and what their launch/development strategies are 3. How the “new guys” like Amazon, Netflix and others will position themselves The more “traditional” children’s brands have been trying to establish themselves in this new tablet/smartphone-dominated world, and to some extent, they are still struggling to assert themselves when compared to existing brands that dominate the space like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope or Temple Run. So it will be very interesting to see what will be brought to MIPJunior and how that is integrated with the existing brands and their strategy. We’ve seen tech and digital giants throwing their weight (and cash!) behind new productions and this trend is sure to grow as they increase their investments and other players jump on the band wagon. So, there is a huge opportunity for new talent and fresh brands to emerge. Exciting times!
Beth Stevenson, founder, Brain Power Studios (left in above photo)
The kids entertainment players have to dance a little faster than other genres as our viewer landscape (anyone under 13 years old!) is one where they have no idea what traditional passive scheduled viewing is. That’s why we’re bringing several properties to MIPCOM and MIPJunior that have a true multi-screen value to them. We have TV series that have ingrained interactive moments that lend with ease to appisodes and we have apps that have spun off TV episodes. We hope to connect with partners on these projects that find value in all aspects of the content. We will be scanning the many floors and booths for produced projects that fit with our digital teaching modules. We are looking for both interactive and fictional projects. Can’t wait for the bustling halls and the pulse-racing pitching!
Beth Stevenson ad Miguel Sabino are two of the kids TV ambassadors expertly coordinated by consultant Debbie Macdonald in the run-up to MIPJunior and MIPCOM. Check out all of their posts here… And be sure to say hello in Cannes!