Boosted by a successful multiplatform strategy for its hit shows and breakout new series, and an increase in its girls audience, Cartoon Network has kicked off 2015 with significant ratings growth in key kids demos while main competitors Disney and Nickelodeon have fallen back.
According to media investment firm Magna Global’s most recent analysis of Nielsen ratings, Cartoon Network has moved ahead of Nickelodeon for the first time in years to rank second during this year for total day among kids six to 11.
The network’s momentum for its overall total day audience began in the fourth quarter of 2014 with double-digit gains among kids two to 11.
Its ratings boost continued into 2015 with a 24% sellable day increase among kids six to 11 over the first two weeks of January while Disney, Nick and Disney XD dropped 17%, 28% and 31%, respectively.
“When we look across the numbers, the thing I’m most pleased with is that our overall consumption is up,” says Cartoon Network president and GM Christina Miller. “And we’re still the dominant number one network with boys six to 11 and we continue to grow that lead.”
Miller also notes that Cartoon Network’s double-digit increases among girls six to 11 through 2014 have been a big reason for its broader ratings growth. “Combined with continued growth in boys, it’s led us to ascend into the number two position for the kids six to 11 demo,” she says.
Miller also credits the network’s investment and focus across digital and mobile platforms for its recent ratings success.
According to Rentrak’s Free On Demand reports for November and December 2014, Cartoon Network bettered all other kids channels for number of VOD transactions. Google Play also placed the new Cartoon Network Anything app and micro-network on its Best Apps of 2014 list.
“Everybody is spending a lot of time talking about how fragmented the marketplace is, but when you look at the numbers you realize that people are consuming more than ever before. It just shows that with content and a brand that people have avidity for, they will consume more,” says Miller, noting that the average use of CN Anything is more than 10 minutes per session.
“We’re driving our ratings, VOD, and digital and they are all rising so we’re not trading. Kids don’t see walls. They discover and watch content wherever they get to view.”
She adds that the network also has seven out of the top 10 shows among boys six to 11 on all of television when in premieres.
“One of the things driving our growth is we’re doing it with more than a single hit show. We’ve got Adventure Time, Clarence, Regular Show, Steven Universe, The Amazing World of Gumball, Teen Titans Go! and Uncle Grandpa. We’re getting this compound effect. People are staying longer and consuming more.”