Matthew Macaulay
CMC: Our Top 7
5 mins

Kids Industries recently attended The Children’s Media Conference, centred around the theme ‘Power Up!’.

This year's conference provided a wealth of valuable insights and takeaways. Reflecting on the event, we wanted to share our top 7 key themes from the many interesting sessions we attended:

1. Authentic portrayals of minority communities are still lacking in children's content in the UK:

Marcus Ryder, of the Sir Lenny Henry Institute for Media Diversity, pointed out children’s content in the UK needs to work harder to move beyond tokenism and bring authentic portrayals of minority communities to the screen. He said the US has historically been better at doing this, though did mention JoJo and Gran Gran as a step in the right direction (it took 40 years to get to there though).

2. Investment in children’s content in the UK is in steep decline:

An existential undercurrent to the conference was the long-term decline in investment in children’s content, the lack of parity between tax credits for children’s content in Europe versus the UK (the UK has a less favourable situation), and the challenges of achieving funding for new shows. 

3. Multi-channel distribution strategies drive show popularity, exclusivity strangles it:

Ampere Analysis delivered an interesting presentation which proved the link between multi-channel distribution and a show’s popularity. They pointed out that shows featured on free streaming or paid streaming only, were on average much less popular than those that were shown on a combination of paid streaming, free streaming and linear. Sadly, production companies rarely have the power to dictate a distribution strategy and so lovely content ends up being buried on streaming services. 

4. Beloved franchises take time to build - we're too quick to dismiss strong IP:

Magic Light Pictures stressed the need for a patient approach to building entertainment franchises from Pip and Posy to The Gruffalo. The long-term success of The Gruffalo is in large part down to an unshakeable commitment to a brand which is beloved by parents and kids in equal measure, and a patient rollout of a multi-touchpoint entertainment strategy which leans heavily into beautiful family experiences. 

5. Brands need to listen to their broader fan base, not just a vocal minority:

A session focused on fandom revealed the tension between listening to your audience and still retaining control of the direction of your IP. Particular mention was made of the importance of listening to all of your fans and not just the superfans who shout the loudest.

6. The Online Safety Bill is coming and will have far reaching implications for children's safety:

No one seems to know exactly how the Online Safety Bill will manifest and what the implications will be for media companies and children’s safety. However, there was universal agreement that educating parents and carers as well as children on online threats would continue.  

7. Gesture can be crucial in communicating abstract ideas to children, in particular scientific concepts:

Professor Andrew Manches of the University of Edinburgh delivered a fascinating session on how gesture is paramount when trying to convey complex and abstract scientific concepts to children. This has wide reaching implications for those creating educational content and products for children. 

Related Blogs