In its latest Kids TV Report, which surveys the viewing habits of preschoolers and children across the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, market research firm Eurodata TV Worldwide found that new program launches helped raise the market shares of local and specialist kids channels in the second half of 2015.
According to the report, a third of the youth series most-watched by children and preschoolers over this time period were new to the channels broadcasting them in 2015.
“This is a significant amount for a genre, often associated with the re-transmission and success of classics and reboots,” says Avril Blondelot, Eurodata TV Worldwide’s international research manager.
Among the top-rated new programs highlighted in the report are Wir Kinder aus dem Möwenweg (Children of the Möwenweg) from German producer WunderWerk, which ranked 12th in children’s shows in Germany. Import Nelly and Nora from Ireland’s Geronimo Productions also made impressive gains to rank third with British audiences ages four to 15 years old. (Live-action series Topsy and Tim and Teacup Travels were one and two, respectively.) And international co-production and newcomer Miraculous Ladybug (pictured) held the top position with audiences ages four to 14 in France.
For Children of the Möwenweg, the rating is significant, as the kids audience in Germany tends to prefer largely the same localized shows for years on end. The trend is still evident with long-running series Löwenzähnchen, Unser Sandmännchen and Baumhaus filling the top three spots, respectively.
Some newer international titles, however, are infiltrating the ratings including good performances from Robin Hood (Method Animation, DQ Entertainment and Fabrique d’Images) and UK series Poppy Cat, which held the 15th spot on KiKA.
In France, not only is French/Japanese/Korean collaboration Miraculous Ladybug on TF1 the highest-rated series, but girls ages four to 14 make up two-thirds of its audience.
“It’s an exception amongst the hit children’s programs in Europe, especially considering that TF1 attracts as many boys as girls on average,” says Blondelot. “Miraculous Ladybug is the first illustration of a wider trend for renewing the image of superheroines.”
The report points to upcoming new series DC SuperHero Girls from Warner Bros. Animation, in partnership with Mattel’s Playground Productions, and Jade Armor from French studio TeamTO as two programs that will continue the trend.
Shows filling the number two and three spots, respectively, in France were Spin Master’s PAW Patrol on TF1 and Grojband (Fresh TV/FremantleMedia) on Gulli.
For growth of local specialized channels from July to December 2015 versus the same period a year prior, ratings for Spanish pubcaster Clan’s preschool audience increased by 6.1 points, while Italy’s Rai Gulp rose by 2.1 points and France 4 gained 1.7 points.
“When we look at the combined market share of specialist kids channels by country, they are all progressing in youth viewership,” says Blondelot. She also notes that Germany’s Super RTL has come back very strongly in the market increasing its preschool market share by 1.9 points to reach a 21.5% share.
“Super RTL also got back to the first position for children three to 13, which they lost ground on in the beginning of 2015, having suffered from the separation from Disney,” adds Blondelot. She notes Dreamworks Dragons, in particular, has helped drive ratings growth coming in as that number-three show for children three to 13 in Germany.
On Clan, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the highest-rated series, but local show Invizimals, which launched in 2014, continues to rate well, landing in the number four spot.
Despite increases in the number of individual children watching television, the report found that the individual average daily viewing time for young European viewers decreased by five minutes in 2015 to fall just below the two-hour mark at one hour and 59 minutes.
“The previous average was influenced by the 2014 Football World Cup. On the other hand, children can watch their favorite programs on different screens, such as computers, tablets and smartphones,” says Blondelot. “These screens are not yet subjected to audience measurements of TV content. For example, in France, two-thirds of programs watched online by viewers ages seven to 10 years old are animated series.”
Rounding out the report’s trends, series with strong CP programs that have performed well are PAW Patrol and DHX Media/FremantleMedia’s Kate & Mim-Mim, which both ranked in the top 20 in three of the five countries surveyed.