WHICH NEW TRENDS ARE EMERGING IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING?

Although some classics still dominate the rankings for the top programmes that European children spend the most time watching, new trends are emerging and firmly establishing themselves.

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Although “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and “Miraculous Ladybug” still dominate the rankings for the top three programmes that European children spend the most time watching, new trends are emerging and firmly establishing themselves in the still-successful children’s programming, says a Glance-Médiamétrie’s new study.

In Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom, four TV channels dedicated to children have recorded audience shares that have increased by more than 30% over three years (the first half of 2019 compared with the first half of 2016). Another sign of dynamism from the first half of 2019 is that there are 18 new launches in the top 20 best-performing programmes observed in the five countries studied by Glance.

The huge-scale importation of children's programmes still reigns everywhere in Europe. Most private European children's channels operate with over 85% imported programmes. With almost 60% domestic and co-production programmes, France is an exception.

Unsurprisingly, animation is still the most popular genre amongst those aged under 15. It currently accounts for an average of 78% of the 20 best-performing children's programmes in the five studied countries. This ratio is higher than it has ever been during the last five years.

At the MIPJunior 2019 event, Avril Blondelot, Content Insight Director at Glance, said: "Three major trends have been noted in children's programmes throughout the world. Granted, ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ was still the most watched programme in Europe in the first half of 2019, followed by ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’. Still, diversity, very young TV presenters and ‘travel’ through time or space are strong trends that are becoming established".

The theme of diversity, which has been explored time and time again in audio-visual productions for adults, is now starting to crop up in children's programming. The second trend is that TV presenters are becoming younger and younger. Last of all, the third major trend amongst those identified and detailed by Glance is "Supersized travels": a supersized journey through space and/or time.

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