As for adults, children have increasingly watched television for the first half of 2020, due to lockdowns. Channels have adapted their content to the context and platforms have developed more children’s programmes. Societal changes are reflected in the contents: environment, diversity and technology are new recurrent themes in children’s programmes.
In the first half of 2020, the Covid-19 global health crisis and the resultant generalised lockdown brought many young Europeans, who couldn’t go to school, in front of their televisions. In Italy (+38 minutes), Spain (+21 minutes), France (+15 minutes) and Germany (+8 minutes), the average daily time spent by children watching television increased compared to 2019.
Consequently, general interest channels offering children’s programmes are doing well. Nearly half of these channels (5 out of 11) studied in Glance's Kids TV Report saw their audience share increase among young audiences (compared to the first half of 2018).
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Social distancing measures explained by “SpongeBob SquarePants,” educational programmes such as “La Maison Lumni” on France 4 or “Aprendemos en Casa” in Spain, as well as free access offered by most private or public groups, testify to the responsiveness and inventiveness of the children’s offer in Europe to support parents and children during this pandemic.
Another sign of the market’s dynamic is that most international online platforms are continuing to strengthen their programming for young audiences. Between January and June 2020, 43 new children’s programmes were launched on 11 platforms studied by the NoTa Kids service.
On the occasion of MIP Junior 2020, Avril Blondelot, Content Insight Director of Glance, said: “Although ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks,’ ‘SpongeBob’ and ‘Miraculous Ladybug’ remain the favourite and unmistakable heroes of young Europeans, three strong themes ran through children’s programmes worldwide in the first half of 2020 and echoed societal changes: ecology, diversity and the incursion of mobile and video games”.
As a growing concern among young viewers, environmental protection and ecology have been featuring in children’s programmes around the world. Furthermore, an underlying trend in recent years, diversity in children's programmes is once again taking hold in the first half of 2020. Last but not least, another major trend observed in children’s programmes around the world is the habit of watching content on their mobile phones and video games.
Three strong themes ran through children’s programmes worldwide in the first half of 2020 and echoed societal changes: ecology, diversity and the incursion of mobile and video games” Avril Blondelot Content Insight Director of Glance