Alison Warner is the Vice President of IP Sales, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Technicolor Digital Productions, based in London. Alison develops and implements sales strategies for TDP’s in-house animated properties and actively sources new European properties to acquire or co-produce.
MIPBlog: What’s the most innovative thing in kids entertainment right now in your opinion, and why?
Alison Warner: I think there’s big potential for virtual reality entertainment. VR as a legitimate vehicle for storytelling is still young, and there’s a lot of excitement about it, but people are still trying to figure out the best way to utilise it in organic storytelling experiences that go beyond the novelty or gimmick factor.
> Why does kids TV have such potential for innovation? Do kids have a different relationship with technology than adults?
Kids show no fear when embracing technology – for them tapping into content delivery on any platform is intuitive; they don’t need instruction manuals! It makes them natural early adopters and in embracing a favourite show they will seek out all elements of it, whether it’s through a linear delivery, VOD, online an app. Adults on the other hand might catch up with their viewing through a variety of ways but don’t tend to immerse themselves as thoroughly. Its something like learning a second language when you’re young – its almost second nature – but very difficult to do when you’re old.
> What is your favourite kids IP right now, and why?
It has to be The Deep, a fast-paced adventure full of the sea’s mysteries (picture below). There is simply nothing else quite like it. A family working together on a state-of-the-art submarine. Tension and humour to the fore and a higher story arc that will warrant many series to follow! I always find an IP compelling when it offers me something I think I know, but with a fresh perspective that surprises and excites me. The Deep is a good example of that kind of property.
> How do you see the (near) future of kids entertainment?
I think it’s very exciting. There seems to be an appetite from both existing content aggregators and the new content deliverers to invest in compelling, high quality kids entertainment – whether it’s animated, scripted drama or non-scripted. Let’s hope this trend continues. I also anticipate that kids will find ways to get serial animated entertainment, which is pretty scarce these days.
> As the landscape in children’s media evolves, what (in your opinion) are the implications for the audience?
Kids will continue the trend to want content, anytime, anywhere and I suspect that ultimately delivery of content will end up via the web. The implications of this, is that parents may seek to have more curated sites that they allow their kids to visit rather than have free access to the internet. This subscription-based model may however ultimately limit the viewing options for kids if parents need to pay out to several sites. Additionally the emergence of multiple ad-funded channels based on individual brands (whether an individual, toy, game or concept) will allow the audience a more immersive experience with that brand.
Alison Warner is one of our pre-MIPJunior 2015 kids entertainment ambassadors. She was part of the team that helped put Technicolor’s animated shows Atomic Puppet and The Deep into production and also has responsibility for distribution of The Deep worldwide. In addition, Alison is developing new and maintaining existing client relationships within Europe for the Animation and Gaming business at Technicolor.
These posts are coordinated by Debbie Macdonald, a children’s media consultant. Debbie was formerly VP, programming director at Nickelodeon UK, having worked in acquisitions at the BBC. You can find her on LinkedIn here.