There is an interesting New York Times article on kids and television: “Nickelodeon Remixes Its Formula to Fit Young Viewers’ Media Consumption.” It’s an interesting read on the challenges of providing children’s programming in a world in which children have so many media choices and so little free time.
According to the article, the challenge to providers is twofold:
1. Viewer easurements are not reliable.
It seems that in the good old days, Nielsen could easily tell you how you were doing. Now, however, it is much harder to accurately track streaming services, video on demand, apps and of course television.
2. The latest cohort of 2-14 year old kids are different.
The children who consume these various formats are different than their older siblings. They want new and different and as a result Nickelodeon is running with more original shows and utilizing writers who are multi-racial and multi-geographical.
Nickelodeon had to do something. Their viewership was down by 14% for kids 2-14 last year. If you think that was a big number; Disney Channel was down 21%.
As I have said in the past, everyone who provides play and entertainment competes with everyone else who provides play and entertainment. The war is for time and in that war, not even Disney Channel or Nickelodeon is immune.