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Content Must Follow Kids 

NZ Children’s Screen Trust, Auckland, 31 March 2015: The children are voting. The shift to YouTube is just the beginning. Our children deserve to find their stories, their culture wherever they are engaging with media.

We need local content made especially for the online environment in a place that is trusted by parents and most of all exciting and relevant for kids.

The NZ on Air/BSA report on Children’s Media Use shows that while television is still important, access to the internet is part of daily life for most 6-14 year olds. “The growing dominance of YouTube suggests that kids are going to a platform parents are familiar with as well as following trends in the playground. Parents  know that kids find “Annoying Orange” and other YouTube sensations in just this way. YouTube Kids will increasingly challenge local spaces for telling our stories.” says Janette Howe. 

The report shows there is strong support from parents and children for New Zealand made content,  “In an online environment, drama, science, news, and special interest content can all have a place – and be interactive and connected to its audience.”  Says Dr Ruth Zanker.

David Kleeman, a global expert, suggests that niche channels online have a place even in a crowded global market: “Those VOD brands that are highly focused, that can state clearly to parents what’s special and unavailable elsewhere, should do well.” 

The research also shows that parents still have a hand in deciding where and when their children watch, with parents being the key online content decision makers for most children until the age of eight when a majority – 59% are finding content for themselves. 

Kidsonscreen’s goal is to ensure that kiwi kids have access to local content wherever they are. “Children need to see local content wherever they are playing with stories, ideas, heroes and building their sense of self.  There needs to be a bold presence online where the kids are engaging and this needs broad support, new funds and a belief that young kiwis deserve the best online,” says Janette Howe.

About The New Zealand Children’s Screen Trust
The New Zealand Children’s Screen Trust (NZCST) seeks to enrich the lives of New Zealand children by promoting diverse and accessible local content on all screens, facilitating more diverse international content, and by engaging with the public and industry to build a sustainable and specialised New Zealand children’s screen industry.  NZCST has a passionate and experienced board including: Janette Howe (Chair) John Harris, Dr Ian Hassall, Yvonne Mackay, Ian Taylor, Pieter Holl, Kate Stevenson, Dr Ruth Zanker