The metaverse was in focus on day two of Kidscreen Summit

Roblox’s future plans, how companies can succeed on the platform, and similar communities where producers can launch content were hot topics yesterday.
February 15, 2023

By Ryan Tuchow and Cole Watson

Day two of Kidscreen Summit offered an eclectic mix of highlights, from celebrity comedians building kid confidence one joke at a time, to the latest on Roblox’s gameplan (it wants to become a key educational tool), to a pretty fabulous 2023 Kidscreen Awards ceremony. 

Comedy duo Samantha Bee and Allana Harkin really brought the funny in their “Let’s Get Silly” keynote. They talked about their new comedy sketch show for younger viewers, Best Day Ever, and how a little silliness can go a long way when it comes to helping kids develop strength and confidenceand also bringing a positive energy to productions.

Roblox was the focus of two back-to-back sessions in yesterday’s program. First up, execs from gaming companies Dubit, Gamefam and Supersocial joined Paramount Global SVP of games and emerging media Douglas Rosen to share insights about how to be successful on the platform in “Roadmap to Roblox”. Engaging kids is all about working with native talent that understands the audience, they said, adding that building a nuanced approach to launching on Roblox includes integrating a brand into an existing experience or launching an event. Roblox’s power is that it blends games and social experiences with commerce, and brands need to be tapping into its growing audience of kids, said Yonatan Raz-Fridman, founder and CEO of Supersocial. 


On the main Summit stage right after that, Roblox execs Tami Bhaumik (VP of civility and partnerships) and Rebecca Kantar (VP of education and director of the Roblox Community Fund) discussed the platform’s plans to become a hub for positive social norms, launch a scaled-down for-education product, and work with schools and edtech companies to teach kids STEM topics through games that let them create and iterate. 

Tuesday also offered plenty of fascinating research, studies and statistics. In “Just Let ‘Em Laugh,” George Carey outlined why the industry needs to think about shifting away from edutainment and towards pure-fun content. 

A recent study conducted with 80,000 respondents by Carey’s market research firm, The Family Room, showed that kids’ top three priorities for TV shows are kidding around and laughing, having fun together as a family, and simply being a kid. This sentiment was echoed by the parents surveyed, who added that they want more content that lets kids discover their own world, make family memories, and foster a sense of imagination. Lower on parents’ list of prioritiesteaching kids the value of hard work, showing them how to be resilient, and helping them deal with stress. 

Kids Industries co-founder and CEO Gary Pope gave a presentation about how family viewing trends are changing globally. Backed by a survey sample of more than 20,000 respondents, Pope warned that fandom is being eroded because there’s too much choice in today’s market. In the UK alone, kids have access to more than 42,000 titles on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Now TV and Disney+, and this explosion of content is over-stimulating their minds and bringing families back to linear TV for a more curated and simplified viewing experience.

One of five big market opportunities that Pope identified for the industry was active co-viewing. In 2019, 74% of families said they co-viewed TV with their kids about once a month. Post-pandemic, nearly 73% of parents watch along at least half the time their kids are watching TV. 

The day wrapped up with the 14th annual Kidscreen Awards ceremony, where Netflix walked away with the most trophies (15 in total). You can read Kidscreen’s full story here

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