The business of children’s content

October 20, 2015  | Subscribers Only

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In a world of declining linear TV viewing and increased use of internet-connected smartphones, tablet computers and other devices, the children's TV genre remains remains in good health. Programming has largely migrated from generalist TV channels to more than 400 dedicated channels aimed at the under 12 audience worldwide, with a total of $2.165 billion invested on children’s programming last year. With YouTube becoming the first screen for many younger viewers and Netflix and Amazon spearheading a wave of subscription-funded video-on-demand services, IHS estimates that children’s content generated $243.8 million in revenues online last year. The US majors and public broadcasters are the mainstays of the business. Toy companies, already investing billions in licensing film and TV properties, have becoming increasingly active in production. However, for many companies, building a scalable and sustainable business in the children’s sector has proved tough, with many leading players being taken over or going bankrupt in the years since our first report on the sector in 1999.

List of tables and charts: 

  • Children's channel distribution, end 2015 (million HH)
  • Children's channels by world region (Q3 2015)
  • Average daily viewing by children, 2013 and 2014 (minutes)
  • Time spent with media (ages 0-8)
  • Children’s PSB output first-run UK originated hours per year
  • World: expenditure on children's TV programming by type ($m) - chart
  • World: expenditure on children's TV programming by type ($m) - table
  • World: expenditure on children's TV programming by region ($m) - chart
  • World: expenditure on children's TV programming by region ($m) - table
  • Share of originated children's programming in 2014 by world region
  • Share of acquired children's programming in 2014 by world region
  • USA children's channel distribution, 2011-2015 (million HH)
  • International children's channel distribution, 2011-2015 (million HH)
  • Key children’s TV companies
  • Production company events
  • Worldwide children's home video revenues (rental and retail) $m
  • Toy company royalty payments ($m)
  • Toy company film and TV properties
  • Kids app downloads (millions)
  • Children's TV online: revenues by region ($m)
  • Children's TV online: EST and subscription online revenues by territory ($m)
  • Children's TV online: revenues by region (%)
  • Children's TV online: USA v others (%)
  • Do you receive upfront funding for children's programming from broadcasters?
  • On average, what proportion of your budgets is contributed by broadcasters?
  • Approximately how much of your children's content is originated?
  • Would you say that children's TV broadcaster commissioning budgets are increasing, declining, or staying the same?
  • Which rights are broadcasters typically taking for your children's productions or properties?
  • Producers: On what type of site do you offer full-length episodes online?
  • What type of digital platforms are generating the MOST significant revenues for children's content?
  • eOne Family division financials: year ending 31 March (£ millions)
  • Indian children's TV channels
  • Toei Animation financials: year ending 31 March (Yen millions)
  • Hasbro financials ($ millions)
  • BBC: children's expenditure and output, year ending 31 March
  • Sesame Workshop financials, year to 30 June ($ millions)
  • Xilam Animation financials (€ millions)

Tim Westcott

Director – Research and Analysis, Programming, IHS Markit

Mr. Tim Westcott is a director of research and analysis for Programming at IHS Markit.

Kia Ling Teoh

Senior Research Analyst – Advertising & Television Media, IHS Markit

Ms. Kia Ling Teoh is a senior research analyst, Advertising & Television Media at IHS Markit.

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Media & Advertising
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