How do children respond to the multitude of learning and entertainment apps? Are they more strict than the grown-ups and does the TV industry need to keep up with the latest trends that, according to experts, VOD is much better in? These are some of the questions that will be discussed at NEM 2018, which will be held in Dubrovnik from June 11-14.
Children aren’t afraid to say whether they like something or not, so it is necessary to draw a distinction between adult consumers of media content and children. Content intended for children should offer a high degree of entertainment because of their low tolerance to boredom. Appeal or visual identity is also very important because it encourages children’s curiosity and motivates them to watch a certain content or start an app.
Simple content management also has an effect on the popularity among younger audience. We have to keep in mind that today’s children have grown up with digital media – “with a cell phone in hand”, as many would say – and they truly are native speakers of the digital age. Moreover, when it comes to preschool children, as well as many schoolchildren, you can not expect them to read instructions or try to understand how a certain product actually works – for them it simply has to work the moment they lay their hands/eyes on it. They are curious by nature and want to learn – which they indeed do through everyday play with the help of digital media offering numerous possibilities for that activity.
The panel “Little Bosses: Children’s Demands” will discuss experiences of media consumption among children and will be moderated by Tim Westcott, Research and Analysis Director of the Programming team at IHS Market.
“I am looking forward to attending NEM in beautiful Dubrovnik for the first time to chair the ‘Little Bosses: Children’s Demands’ panel. For younger viewers, linear television channels are just one part of their media consumption experience. I will be looking to find out about how today’s content providers are approaching this audience from a great line-up of speakers, including one of the major global children’s entertainment brands, one of the pioneers of children’s SVoD, and one of the CEE’s key children’s channel brands”, said Westcott, referring to the following speakers: Nicholas Walters, founder of Hopster TV, Daniel Reszka, Vice President of youth and emerging brands in the CEE region, Viacom (that is, Nickelodeon), and Szilvia Maschek, Head of Kids Channels, AMC Networks International.
Parents simply love apps through which their kids can learn by playing. But if an app creates an experience of interactive learning through entertainment, is easy to use, has an attractive design and does not harass children with ads – then it is a clear success. Such an app was developed by NEM panelist Nicholas Walters, CEO and founder of Hopster, a subscription app for preschool children.
“This is a time of massive change in the content and media industry which is fuelled by kids – their changing media consumption habits and the way they are interacting with content. With over one-third of children under 5 owning personal technology, the shift from passive linear TV to interactive SVOD apps, like Hopster, has never been greater. I’m excited to be discussing this trend with some of the leading kids entertainment platforms in Central and Eastern Europe at the region’s most exciting TV event”, said Walters, who will reveal at NEM what effect his platform full of songs, TV shows, educational games, picture books and learning materials has on children.
Szilvia Maschek of AMC Networks International wasn’t trying to hide her excitement about the panel on children as the ones dictating trends: “How can the kids’ content players see the 2-to-12-year-old viewers’ diverse interest? Is it a joint view that though there is SVOD boom, it remains true that Linear TV can perfectly coexist?”, asks Maschek, who is responsible for the programming and acquisition strategy of Minimax, Megamax and JimJam channels, adding that apart from a beautiful view of Dubrovnik, NEM also provides excellent networking opportunities for all its attendees.