How kid’s TV is helping launch the new age online streaming services original content
No one can doubt that online streaming companies are starting to alter the way in which people consume entertainment. Starting from humble beginnings, Netflix has transformed from a DVDs by mail rental company; to on demand video provider; to an original content producer. Its streaming services have become ubiquitous and are now accessible via virtually every smartphone, tablet, streaming box, and gaming console. Other companies, such as Amazon and Hulu Plus, are following suit with similar degrees of success.
What has been most interesting to watch is how some of the most critically acclaimed original content has been exclusively accessible through streaming services. No longer is the web as means of transmitting silly YouTube videos, but popular shows that cannot be accessed anywhere else are now calling the internet home. Netflix’s own House of Cards broke ground this year by being the first streaming television show in history to win an Emmy.
Online streaming companies are making family entertainment the next big wave of original content. Amazon Studios launched an additional 6 children’s television pilots into production and Netflix recently made an unprecedented deal with Dreamworks to purchase over 300 hours of animated content.
Exclusive kids shows may be the next Trojan horse that push streaming services into more homes. Not only is children’s entertainment a huge market but, in my opinion, the streaming model fits in perfectly with kids’ viewing habits. Children are drawn to new technology, picking it up with more ease than perhaps any other demographic. In addition, children partake in countless repeated viewings. What this means is that the cost of creating high quality original content is offset by a residual value and a broad install base. A hit Kids TV series could mean huge profits for all parties involved.
Dreamworks shows are set to sit Netflix next year and Amazon Kids Originals pilots are online now.View comments →
New children’s series show convergence of Internet and television
About 6 or 7 years ago the internet focus of the children’s television networks was to establish a foothold in online gaming. Perhaps they were inspired by massively popular online games like World of Warcraft or the rising popularity of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Whatever the the catalyst, it is clear that the children’s television networks saught to establish an online presence.
Nickelodeon tried to get in on the trend by purchasing the already popular franchises NeoPets in 2005 and expanding its existing web offerings into a new Nickelodeon Kids and Family Virtual Group. Disney followed suit by purchased the smash hit Club Penguin from New Horizon Interactive in 2007. Cartoon Network produced their own hugely popular game in 2009, Fusion Fall, which is a massively multiplayer online game that features Cartoon Network characters.
With all three of these online offerings established and reaching varying degrees of success, the children’s television networks have now turned their attention to bringing popular internet content onto their television channels. They are capitalizing on the success of viral videos.
In some ways Nickelodeon has been aware of the viral internet trend for years. Their teen sitcom iCarly (which premiered in 2007) is about a group of friends who produce their own hugely popular web show. Lucas Cruikshank, the selfmade star of the YouTube series Fred, has guest stared on iCarly. This has lead to two Nickelodeon produced Fred movies and the recently aired Fred: The Show. All of this suggests that Nickelodeon is intimately aware of the popularity of sites like YouTube with children.
Cartoon Network is set to premiere their own show based on a YouTube web series. The Annoying Orange will air this summer. Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon’s adaptation of web series suggests an attempt at converging online and televised forms of entertainment. With the proliferation of broadband, the internet is quickly becoming the go to destination for kids to get their entertainment. By hosting kid centric social gaming sites as well as adapting popular viral videos, the children’s television networks are staying relevant.
It will be interesting to see exactly what all of these trends will mean for children’s television. It seems that cable access may no longer be necessary for the children’s television networks to reach their viewers. Nickelodeon and Disney Channel host many of their shows on a Kids friendly version of Netflix. As stated before, all three networks host kid-centric online social games. While traditional cable television will be with us for the foreseeable future, the children’s television networks are certainly ready a future without cable.View comments →
Oscar nominees show shift in perception of children’s film
The Oscars are upon us once again and I couldn’t help noticing some interesting shifts in regards to children’s film. Most notable is the nomination of Hugo. Hugo’s nomination marks the first time since 1995, when Babe was nominated, that a children’s live action film has been nominated for best picture. I find this to be a monumental shift in the way children’s film is being seen in the industry. While children’s films were highly regarded in the 80′s with films like E.T., this regard had until recently slipped away. No longer is children’s film seen simply as mainstream family entertainment. Children’s film is pushing back towards being concidered art.
I do recognize that there are perhaps other factors that contributed towards Hugo being nominated for best picture. The Academy is notorious for being politically driven and it may be Scorsese’s clout as a filmmaker that resulted in the nomination. In addition, the expanded list of nominees has made it more likely that a film like Hugo would be nominated. Regardless, I still believe that the nomination marks a significant achievement for children’s films.
It is ironic that Pixar, the animation studio that is responsible for pushing forward the perception of children’s films, was not nominated for best animated feature. This is not surprising given that their film, Cars 2, released to lackluster reviews. The Cars franchise is generally considered the black sheep of the Pixar pantheon. However it is suppressing that competing studio Dreamworks Animation received not one but two nominations for best animated feature for Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots. Dreamworks has not won the award since Shrek won in 2001 (excluding their 2005 win for Wallace and Grommet, which was a joint venture with Aardman). Indeed the quality of Dreamworks films has risen in the past couple of years with films like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. Once considered kitsch, it seems that Dreamworks films have risen to become the industry leaders in 2011.
I am excited to see who the winners will be this year. While I always take the Academy Awards with a grain of salt, this year’s awards will be interesting to watch.View comments →
Hello and welcome to jonsunshine.wordpress.com a blog dedicated to sharing my thoughts and interests. While I am interested in all forms of media, my passion is for children’s film. The goal of this blog is to illuminate contemporary and historical trends in all forms of media. Here you will find a collection of articles, images, videos, and links intended to contribute to a deeper understanding of how media functions.
Enjoy, explore, and discover! It is my sincerest wish that this blog will thoroughly convey my knowledge. However, this blog is not intended to be a one way street. Please comment on my posts; I encourage active discussion. Open your mind as we explore the fascinating worlds of film, television, art, literature, and videogames together.View comments →
Bachelors of Arts in English LiteratureUniversity of Florida
With emphasis in children's literature, animation, and cinema studies. Graduated Phi Beta Kapp and high honors
Bachelors of Science in PsychologyUniversity of Florida
With emphasis in developmental and educational psychology. Graduated with honors
Development InternChatrone LLC.
• Provided script coverage for upcoming projects • Copyedited documents • Provided general administrative assistance.
VolunteerCTN X - Animation Expo
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VolunteerKidscreen Summit International Children’s Television Conference
• Supported A/V teams at 5 lectures, panels and presentations with attendee and panelist communication • Collaborated with the core staff to plan event logistics for a summit consisting of over 1,500 attendees
Standards and Practices InternCartoon Network
• Researched Cartoon Network and Adult Swim competitor television shows for content issues, ratings, advisories and ads to inform future Standards and Practices guidelines • Analyzed hundreds of hours of questionable material using departmental criteria • Managed Excel spreadsheets containing show summaries and significant findings
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