With digital media expanding rapidly how can traditional TV keep up with viewers changing appetites? Is a channel brand still as relevant today and how do you achieve loyalty from viewers in a multi-channel landscape?

That’s the million-dollar question isn’t it? It’s the question that keeps all of us in TV up at night. And it’s the thing that ALL TV people need to answer and we must do it SOON! Adapt or die. As horrible as it sounds, I’m afraid it’s a reality! Traditional TV can only keep up with fickle audiences by listening to what they want. I know that sounds like a simple solution, but viewers will always want great entertainment. It comes down to exciting characters and stories. Everyone loves to be told a great story and one that’s so compelling that we can involve ourselves for hours and hours. That will never change.

The one thing that does change is the method of delivery: from sitting around the fire to watching on a device in your hand. Engagement of the audience is key. Do this and you will be able to keep them interested and loyal. Give them something compelling and they will come and find you no matter where it is. It may take time but it will happen. Patience is hard to come by in this business but it does pay off. Taking a moment to think something through – all the way through – will eventually reap the rewards.

The experience a viewer has in a digital world has to be an enhanced version of what they can find on linear TV. Therefore, a piece of content should give you an alternative experience on each platform it lives on. That’s truly the beauty and promise of the digital world. There are little restrictions, but lots of possibility. The experience should complement the linear experience where the depth can truly be deeper and richer than on TV alone. There are multiple options to choose from: YouTube, games, apps – you name it.  Just be sure to use them all wisely and in harmony with one another.

A channel brand continues to be relevant if you have a clear point of view and really understand what that brand is. The relationship that you develop with the audience is key to the success of this. Essentially, the brand is a curator of content and some brands are better at this than others. It’s important that the viewer trusts that brand to curate the experience for them.

Here at Universal Kids, we’ve just completed a channel re-brand and I do feel that we are now even more relevant to kids and their worlds by expanding beyond Sprout. Universal Kids means a whole lot more than just one thing and it helps us as a brand to go above and beyond what we’ve able to do in the past. If you can explore the wider kids world and deliver on everything that they love then you’ll have happy and loyal viewers!

Don’t try and do what everyone else is doing do what you think your audience would enjoy the most and in the best way that they would want you to do it for them. Always be that trusted brand that they know and love.


This is the latest in a series of posts from MIPCOM 2017’s MIPBlog Ambassadors, a group of industry experts coordinated by consultant Debbie Macdonald, who’ll be sharing their insight here in the run-up to MIPCOM this October. Stay tuned for more!


Top photo © Imgorthand/GettyImages

About Author

Dea Connick Perez has over 30+ years of experience in kids’ media. Perez joined Sprout/Universal Kids in January 2017 as the VP of Content Strategy and Acquisitions. She will oversee all programming, scheduling and acquisitions for the re-launch of the channel to Universal Kids in September 2017.

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