If anyone is aware of impact that tablets and mobile devices are having on children`s viewing habits, it’s the content providers themselves.
Just last week, The Hub launched its first app extension that offers games, a user-generated photo booth and full episode streaming to its increasingly mobile audience. The Hub app now squares off against similar ones hailing from Nickelodoeon, Disney and Sprout.
The latter two channels are partners with Sweden-based Magine, a year-old cloud-based platform that allows broadcasters and content providers to deliver live and time-shifted TV, as well as on-demand programming, across multiple screens.
With 30% of its content focused on kids, Magine’s latest data on its young viewers shines a light on kids evolving viewing habits and reveals that kids are more inclined to watch television on tablets than their parents.
The platform’s March 2014 report finds that 43% of children’s content is being watched on a tablet rather than a TV or computer screen, while adults are watching nearly half of that amount of television on tablets (23%).
Also interestingly, five of the 10 most popular channels on Magine are children’s channels, meaning the multi-screen allure of the platform is proving to be convenient for parents.
Tablets and linear television have long shared a convoluted relationship. And in many cases, the former has been touted as being a strong exponent of the latter. In the US, traditional TV is the most-consumed form of media among all demographics by a long shot, despite significant swelling of the tablet market.
Ola Steinsrud, VP of new markets and content at Magine, believes Magine’s findings are in line with what’s happening across the globe in terms of shifting TV-watching habit, but they also say a lot about European kids.
“The children in Scandinavia are early adopters and users – almost every kid has a smartphone, and more then 75% of kids under 11 have access to a tablet,” Steinsrud says, adding that the current tablet-viewing culture allows kids to be their masters of their own universe. By not being limited to one device in one location, tablets allows kids to search for their own content and watch it in their own space.
“Linear TV is getting a wake-up call. Traditional scheduling must meet the new trends. With fewer viewers and sinking revenue, broadcasters need to re-think how they will approach scheduling in the future, but also how they can make the most of the new technology and information available to them,” he says.
In embracing its audience and the technology available to them, Magine is making kids television a priority in the year ahead. The company will design packages and customize content based on new territories.
So far, beta versions of Magine have been rolled out in Germany and Spain with broadcasters relevant to each territory, including commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1. More launches are set to follow.
The business first launched in its native Sweden in March 2013 with brands and channels including Disney, Discovery, Fox, CNN International, BBC, Eurosport, and National Geographic, as well as Swedish national broadcasters, such as SVT. The company also closed a US$19 million Series A funding round in July 2013.