Finnish national broadcaster YLE has promoted acquisitions executive Vicky Schroderus to the newly created role of executive in charge of international co-productions and acquisitions at YLE children’s programs.
In her new role, Schroderus is in charge of looking for international co-production projects mainly from Europe, with a focus on Finland. She begins in the new role January 1 and will also continue acquiring kids content for YLE’s linear TV channels, free-video-on-demand service Areena and its YouTube channels.
She started her career in the kids entertainment industry after joining YLE in 1997. Since then she has been focused on YLE TV2, the company’s linear channel for kids two- to 12-years-old, as well as overseeing the dubbing for acquired content.
Previously, YLE co-produced shows with indie Finnish prodcos and studios in Scandinavia, says Schroderus. And while the show’s localized perspectives have played well with younger kids, as kids move into the eight-to-twelve demo, they start going to SVODs and YouTube for their content, she adds. To keep kids in that range engaged, and to keep up with competitors who have more content for them, YLE is going to focus on live-action fiction content.
“In the last few years we started doing international co-productions for our adult-skewing content, and that’s been very successful,” says Schroderus. “We’re using that as our benchmark for why we want to try it in this younger target demo and reach kids with engaging live-action content. Research tells us that at that age they stop watching as much animation, and with the delivery on live-action being shorter there’s just a lot of reasons for us to move into co-producing live-action.”
It’s still early days in YLE and Schroderus’ move into the co-pro space, but she plans to spend the next few months looking at the market to see what kinds of content is engaging kids, what producers have to offer and seeing what other target demos and areas the broadcaster can expand into. She plans to fully bring YLE into the market as a co-pro partner for kids content at Kidscreen Summit in February.
Since the beginning of this year the broadcaster has been beefing up its catalogue with new acquisitions. In February it pre-bought Korean producer Taktoon Enterprises’ animated series The Curious World of Linda (78 x six-and-a-half-minutes) to air on linear and Areena. YLE also picked up Dublin-based 9 Story Distribution International’s 3D-animated preschool series Dr. Panda (39 x seven) as well as Distribution360’s stop-motion upper preschool series George & Paul (26 x five minutes) and Montreal-based ToonDraw Production’s educational preschool fare Genius Genie (78 x five minutes).