Transforming Markets for Children’s Television Industries

Authored by: Anna Potter , Jeanette Steemers

The Routledge Companion to Global Television

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138724341
eBook ISBN: 9781315192468
Adobe ISBN:


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Children’s screen media have recently undergone a period of rapid technological, regulatory and economic change, transforming the ways in which content is produced, distributed and experienced by audiences. Despite the perceived value of locally produced television that reflects children’s cultural context back to them, the production and distribution of children’s television is an increasingly globalized and complex business. The global dominance of US-owned channel brands such as Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network is being challenged, however, by new market entrants including Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube, which distribute children’s content seamlessly online across national borders. With abundant supplies available on demand, the child audience has fragmented across multiple services and platforms, undermining the funding of traditional children’s screen content on broadcast and Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) outlets. Producers have had to adapt to these new television production ecologies. Very large transnational companies now exist alongside niche providers of children’s content. The latter often disintermediate linear broadcasters, harnessing instead the global distribution networks created by YouTube, Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) and social media. These transformations in children’s screen content have significant implications both for children’s media industries and for the policy and funding instruments intended to support locally produced content for the child audience.

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