VOD: rise of kids channels


The advent of OTT and on-demand technology, combined with the widespread use of tablets and smartphones, means that the way children access and interact with content has changed.

Indeed, the younger audiences have moved away from linear television. Their growing desires for video-on-demand content represents an enormous opportunity for VOD services, ideally to build long-term relationships.

One of the main challenges of OTT services dedicated partly or totally to children is to find new ways to involve young users in order to maintain or conquer new market shares.

1. SVOD for children: an opportunity for OTT

Children are an important audience and can therefore create new sources of income for SVOD services. According to an Ofcom study, young people spend an average of about 15 hours a week online watching content on demand.

Source: Ofcom

Aware of the opportunity and market share available to them, streaming giants such as Amazon, Netflix and Hulu are increasing their investments in children's programs. Hulu has officialized the commissioning of new seasons of the animated cartoon "Les Animaniacs" for 2020. This is the first original family entertainment offered by Hulu. Recently, Disney announced that they will withdraw not only their much-loved content from Netflix in 2019, but also launch their own SVOD platform to try to capture this market share. This promises to change the future of children's entertainment.

In addition, many TV channels or generalist platforms have anticipated this demand by deploying subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms dedicated to the youth. Some examples below:

On the other hand, the OTT terminal market is booming. In France, their penetration is lower due to the strong presence of operator boxes. Roku terminals, Apple TV, Android TV or Amazon's Fire, are launching an endless war to acquire channels, especially those for children in VOD and SVOD. For example, Roku offers free children's channels such as "Kids TV Channel", which focuses its content on making pre-school learning fun. There are also specialized children's channels, such as "Girls Channel" exclusively dedicated to girls aged 3 to 12.

Comparison of terminals: connected boxes over-the-top.

These terminals offer many free children's channels such as:

Hasbro Studios, PBS kids, playkids, Blippi, Hopster, Badanamu, Kidoodle.TV...etc

These channels guarantee:

  • Selected content

The programs available on the terminals have been watched and validated by an expert.

  • Parental control

"Be the best parent, even when you're not there!" Bedtime, curfew, tests and many other functions are available to parents to control their children's content consumption.

  • Ease of use

Whether the user has a tablet, a connected smart TV or a mobile phone, videos are available on all terminals.

2. Propel your own youth platform

Experience has shown that it is very difficult to retain the attention of users over a long period of time. To thrive, OTT's children's services are designed to keep four things in mind: relevance of content, ease of navigation, safety and user experience.

  • The relevance of the content

Today, children are experts  when it comes to content. They know how to search for unique, original and entertaining content. Instinctively, children exclude content that does not correspond to what they want to watch. It is therefore imperative to stand out and develop lasting relationships with these young users, by offering totally exclusive content.

  • Navigation convenience

Children pay more attention to content and ease of navigation than to the names of networks and services. Faced with multiple streaming options, they are less loyal to their brand and naturally turn to the service that offers the most suitable programming for their interests and the easiest to use. In this spirit, OTT services must ensure that they do not only offer exclusive and relevant content, but that it is presented in an intelligent way and is easy to navigate.

  • Safety and security

It is essential that an OTT service meet the needs of parents. Indeed, they are looking for safe environment for their children where content is controlled; where there will be no commercial messages or possibility that their child will click on inappropriate content. Therefore, it is important to integrate OTT readers with advanced parental controls.

  • The user experience

Today's children represent a more insightful audience than ever before. Indeed, OTT service providers must ensure a good user experience, i.e. provide a large catalogue and update it regularly.

3. Okidoki: the Kids platform powered by Alchemy and Kinow

Okidoki is the name of a fun and educational video bouquet, available in 23 languages, for children aged 3 to 10 years old, featuring more than 700 videos, including episodes of Molang, Mouk, Didou, Pirata and Capitano.

In 2017, Kinow developed the Okidoki project of Alchimie and Millimages, which required the implementation of a subscription-based video-on-demand platform in SaaS and accessible by end users from an embedded application on Samsung brand connected TVs (and on App Store, Google play).

The project was conceived and edited by Millimages, a cartoon production and distribution company. The company is currently selling its youth video content worldwide to major television channels and it is the desire to discover new forms of media that has led it to deploy a digital platform.

Alchimie called on the technical expertise of Kinow, a publisher of intelligent video platforms, to develop Okidoki's video-on-demand solution on Samsung Smarts TV, the world leader in connected TV.

Okidoki is also available on the WatchIt channel for €4.99 per month. Children can enjoy this program safely and without advertising.

Find out in detail how Kinow helped Alchemy deploy its SVOD service for children: https://fr.kinow.com/clients/alchimie

Today, children still use mainly linear television (and DVD) to watch their programmes, but with the advent of SVOD services, the democratisation of OTT terminals and increasingly vigilant parents, the trend is changing. Indeed, 46% use VOD (free) and 46% use SVOD (by subscription) (source Viacom).

The race to develop children's channels has already begun, but many market shares remain to be won. Children are a demanding audience and it is important to keep 4 objectives in mind when deploying your platform: content relevance, navigation convenience, security and user experience. Now that you have all the keys in hand to keep their attention, get started!

Would you like to expand your OTT children's content service? Contact us for a personalized quote.