This is the latest in a series of posts from leading TV influencers in the run-up to MIPCOM 2016. The posts are coordinated by TV business consultant Deborah Macdonald.
Lucy Murphy is Head of Kids’ Content at Sky. She is responsible for all of Sky’s on demand kids’ content, a library with a selection of over 5,000 episodes, including the Sky Kids app, which successfully launched in March 2016.
MIPBlog: Could you please introduce yourself?
I’m Lucy Murphy, Head of Kids Content at Sky, I joined the company in November last year, and I’ve been producing and managing shows for children’s and family audiences for more than 25 years. My role at Sky is to ensure we provide great entertainment for the youngest members of the household, whether that’s through our great range of linear channels, our on-demand offering, or our recently launched Sky Kids app.
> What do you think is the most innovative thing in (kids) TV now, and why?
It might be the obvious answer but Pokémon Go is a great example of how the boundaries between gaming, television content and live entertainment are blurring. I love how it’s bringing together kids with adults who are re-living their passion for the original games and TV series through the AR game. This global community gaming experience is in turn bringing new audiences to the original content. It’s a glimpse into a future where entertainment is more experiential, truly multi-platform and cross-generational.
> What opportunities does the development of new platforms and business models, like the Sky Kids App, open up for content creators or producers today?
The variety of on-demand platforms we have at Sky allow us to offer entertainment to ever narrower audience segments. We’ve just added short-form nursery rhymes and songs for younger kids, for example. We can also play with different formats and programme lengths without having to worry about the complexity of a linear schedule. 90-second shorts like Morph, a traditionally tricky programme length can have their own home on-demand. And of course we can offer a huge volume, which gives IP owners the opportunity to bring classic older series like Top Cat to a new audience as we’re not faced with space constraints.
> Is the playing field now more level? To what extent is the ‘traditional’ system (pitching to a Commissioner) still important and how do you see that system evolving?
New platforms are definitely providing alternative routes to market and content creators can get their shows seen without needing the backing of a studio or expensive production. For example when I was looking to increase our on-demand library, I found an incredibly talented musician online who has been creating kids music videos in his garage in Seattle. Before the rise of short form, online video content, I don’t think that would have happened. Of course, the traditional system is still incredibly important: we debuted a series this week that was pitched to me at MIP in April.
> What is your favourite TV show/IP today and why?
I have to admit I do always look forward to a Wednesday night in front of Bake Off. I can tell I am also about to become addicted to The Night Of, a new crime drama on Sky Atlantic. In the kids space, I’m loving Kidspiration TV, a series of online videos which puts kids in control as they interview some of the most interesting and inspiring people around the world.
Check out all of our MIPCOM 2016 industry influencer posts to date here!