Several years ago, nonfiction preschool videos were considered innovative, but now, even six-month-olds have their own educational programming on tape. It appears that when it comes to this genre, the smaller the child, the bigger the business opportunity.
‘On one level, it’s a relatively untapped market, but it is a sector that is growing quickly,’ says Dennis Fedoruk, president of Small Fry Productions in Atlanta, Georgia. Last year, his company launched Shapes, the first video in the Baby’s First Impressions series. Demand for the item was so great, Small Fry now has 10 titles including Colors, Letters, Sounds and Seasons.
Baby Einstein and Baby Mozart, produced by Julie Aigner-Clark, are two popular titles targeting one- to 12-month-olds. The first shows simple shapes and has a soundtrack in six languages, the second features short segments of moving toys with a classical music soundtrack.
One would assume that encouraging toddlers to sit in front of the television is something parents would not embrace.
‘The parents we’ve talked to believe that TV isn’t bad, it’s the programming that is the problem,’ says Steve Ades, president of Fast Forward Marketing, distributor of Baby Einstein. ‘These videos are helping kids to learn the basics in an entertaining way, and parents are recognizing that.’
The tapes retail for US$15 and can be found at specialty stores.