From the US, India and Germany, to Brazil, the UK, Spain, Canada and numerous others in between, the TBI Distributor’s Survey 2022 is the industry’s most extensive exploration of the global sales business. Join us as we explore what’s changed over the past 12 months and find out where we’re headed next. Here we examine results from the unscripted sector
Kids: Storming the library
US studios’ changing approach to children’s & family content has created plenty of opportunity for distributors able to open up their catalogues and fill gaps, while all eyes are on FAST as the potential next big thing in the sector
The kids TV industry has arguably never been as vibrant nor as important to the activities of global streamers, many of whom are investing in new programming and acquisitions to ensure their services provide sufficient eye-catching content to keep kids entertained and the bill payers happy.
Nevertheless, the industry has faced a turbulent three years as the pandemic saw soaring demand for content as buyers looked for programming that could entertain and educate locked-down viewers.
There has also been a reduction in the amount of programming available for both channels and streamers as the US studios have locked in content. While in some areas of the industry that strategy may be changing, it seems that many key kids shows are being retained to a considerable extent.
For those in the distribution game, this means opportunity aplenty, as broadcasters and streamers look for content to plug gaps. There are also myriad avenues emerging on services such as FAST, as the Survey findings show.
For the companies that took part in this year’s Survey, revenue over the past 12 months was up on 2020/21 across all fronts, with almost two thirds reporting increases of between 0-19%, while profits largely followed suit.
However, 63% of respondents said they did not expect the market to improve over the next 12 months, with factors such as global streamers’ all-rights models causing issues. Other challenges cited by respondents include the fragmentation of the market and the ongoing issues around consolidation, constricting both the amount of product to sell and the buyers who can acquire.
Most respondents expect to see global streamer demand grow on the buying front, with 68% of respondents (who could record multiple choices) voting for this group.
FAST, however, again made an impact, with almost two thirds expecting this group of buyers to grow in number over the next 12 months. Indeed, some kids companies have benefitted greatly from using a multiple window approach – including FAST and AVOD – and this trend seems likely to only grow among some participants.
There was a definite feeling of optimism among respondents about their future growth too, with 67% expecting their teams to expand between 20-30% in the next 12 months.
This was in line with the respondents’ expectations about their future annual revenue, with another 67% expecting revenue to rise over the same time period. Half of that number predicted it to go up by as much as 30% on the last year.
On the content front, more than two-thirds of distributors said animated kids series were selling better than live-action. Yet as physical production returns to steadier patterns following the pandemic, this area looks like one to watch as we enter 2023.
To view other sections of the TBI Distributors Survey follow the links below
Part 1: Scripted click here
Part 2: Unscripted click here
Part 3: Formats click here
Part 5: Conclusion click here