Mipcom 2012 Daily Service - October 7
MIPJunior: kids first (show content trends)
2012.10.07 | While Mipcom is beginning tomorrow, MIPJunior takes the scene this weekend in Cannes. The pre-show focused on kids and family programming joins 1,100 participans, whose 500 are buyers. For Mipcom 12,800 people are expected, according to the organizer Reed Midem.
What do kid-content buyers want? A MIPJunior panel session yesterday provided some answers, through Carol Bonneau, VP programming at Teletoon Canada; Jackie Edwards, executive producer, CBeebies Animation & Acquisitions at the BBC; Sebastian Debertin, head of fiction, acquisitions & co-production at ARD and ZDF’s KiKA; and Angela Recio Sondon, VP & channel director, Discovery Kids and Lifestyle Networks, Latin America / US Hispanic.
The session was moderated by consultant Linda Kahn. ‘It’s really clear that kids live in a multi-platform world’, she said. ‘The next generation are really touchscreen natives. They play and learn in a world of smartphones, iPads and tablets’.
How are children changing their consumption of media in these territories? Sondon said that in Latin America, the popularity of broadband and apps varies. Mexico and Brazil are leading the arena. ‘TV consumption is still very high, but it’s that interaction where the kids’ll watch the show on TV, then they’ll wanna go online and play games with the characters… What we find is the greater the ability for touchpoints, the greater the popularity of the character. You can’t miss something that you don’t know…’.
Debertin warned producers not to get blinkered by apps mania, since not all children have access to the necessary devices. ‘Is your project really something that from the beginning should have an app? Should you think about creating something first like a web offer for pre-schoolers?’.
‘Children are consuming media in so many different ways it makes my head spin!’, expressed CBeebies’ Edwards, noting that even simple web games --Mike the Knight Pairs, for example-- are doing “phenomenal numbers” on the CBeebies website. She agreed that what websites and apps are great for is building TV shows into well-loved brands.
‘Something we’ve got to be smarter about is… developing projects from a multi-platform point of view from the start’, added Edwards. ‘Being smart about use of assets, and how we’re designing our pipeline’. For example, for the Tree Fu Tom series, a set of interactive games were part of the production pipeline from the start, rather than being developed after the TV shows had been made.
The panel were asked at what stage they prefer to see a new project. ‘I would say you come with your idea, and if it really fits with what we’re looking for which is right now comedy, 6-11, boy target… if it’s original, you’ve done your homework and it’s what we’re looking for, come and see us, said Bonneau. Sondon’s Discovery Kids is currently looking for shows aimed at 6-9 year-old target.
Debertin added: ‘I want to establish relationships that are lasting longer than just one production’. And KiKA is currently producing a 26×22 series that he says was commissioned based on a “five-line pitch”. So KiKA also wants to see ideas early.
Predictions for the future? ‘The kids are gonna tell us what’s next’, said Bonneau. ‘I don’t think TV’s going to go away. Kids love watching television. But you need to make sure you create that environment and you are present everywhere they are’.
How about phenomena like Angry Birds and Talking Tom Cat, which started as hugely popular apps with hundreds of millions of downloads, then set their sights on TV? ‘We always look for great ideas from wherever, and apps are just another source of ideas’, said Edwards. ‘Whether you should or should not extend it to television will depend on the strength of the concept of that app’.
Nicolás Smirnoff and Fabricio Ferrara