Children’s love of great TV content shows no signs of abating but young audiences are becoming increasingly agnostic when it comes to the screen they use to find it, resulting in the line between app, game, toy and TV show blurring. Mediametrie and Eurodata TV media consultant Claire Mitchell looks at the numbers these crossovers are generating
As apps cross over onto the traditional television set, broadcasters and producers are looking to multiply the contact with their audiences by following them into the online space. Examples of this happening include the Annoying Orange brand, which has racked up more than a billion views on YouTube since its launch in 2009.
The short TV episodes were subsequently snapped up by broadcasters around the world keen to benefit from the IP’s existing fans, and the decision has generally proved a good one. In the US, where The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange (pictured) is aired on Cartoon Network, its best performing episode over the month of August 2013 gathered 733,300 kids aged 2-11, winning a 6.3% market share.
Another classic app, Angry Birds, has also made a splash on international TV as Angry Birds Toons, gathering 273,000 viewers aged 4-to-14 for its best performing episode over August on Gulli in France, equating to a market share of 20.6%.
On MTV3 in Finland and Super RTL in Germany the title also attracted market shares of over 30% among children for its strongest performances.
Meanwhile, kids’ net Boing in Spain has reason to congratulate itself on the acquisition of web series Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse, which ranked among their top three broadcasts in March, April and May of this year.
While apps move into the TV space, traditional broadcasters are taking steps to follow their existing audience online, with web games, extra episodes and other content designed to feed children’s appetites across all screens.
In the UK, for example, the BBC has created a CBeebies Playtime app. It works on Apple and Android devices and allows parents to create profiles for kids and they can collect rewards for progressing in a range of games themed around key shows on the digital kids channel.
At launch there were four games, based on The Octonauts, Alphablocks, Mr Tumble and Tree Fu Tom with plans to launch new games based on the Sarah and Duck and Tiny Tumble properties. They have, CBeebies said, been developed to build number, word, drawing and movement skills among preschool viewers.
CBeebies first ever online commission, Tee & Mo, launched this summer, and during their first week of airing, the one-minute teaser episodes aired on the CBeebies channel gathered on average 42,700 children in the 4-to-6 demo, winning a 32.4% market share.
Broadcasters and OTT players, rather than competing, are in fact looking for ways to work together to make the maximum number of contacts with the viewer.
In the US the pilot episode of the animated series Camp Lakebottom was made available on iTunes one week before its debut on Disney XD. Far from eating into its subsequent broadcast audience, the strategy boosted interest in the series, which delivered an audience of 262,400 children for its premiere among children 2-to-11, and a market share of 11.9% among boys 9-11.
Crossovers between TV and web are still in their early stages but this is clearly an area which both sides are committed to expanding. Although most of the biggest children’s TV properties of the moment are still the product of a traditional route to market, an increasing number of major brands from the app and web area have established themselves successfully on the TV screen. Children, meanwhile, already expect to access their favourite content across a variety of platforms, while broadcasters and producers are more than happy to oblige.
Sources: Eurodata TV Worldwide / Nielsen Audience Measurement (US) / Médiamétrie (France) / BARB (UK) / AGF GfK (Germany) / Kantar Media (Spain) / Finnpanel (Finland)