Welcome to the newest season of SuperAwesome’s #Kidtech podcast! In the first episode of Season 5, Dylan Collins, CEO of SuperAwesome, sits down with Emily Horgan, a seasoned independent media consultant with a wealth of experience from Disney and Jetix, to delve into the world of kids theatrical and streaming content.

Known for her LinkedIn newsletter, The Kids StreamerSphere, Emily shares her deep industry expertise, giving us a look into kids content trends and the broader entertainment industry.

Listen to the whole episode to hear all of Emily’s insights!

Building New Kids Entertainment Brands in 2023

Emily provides an analysis of successful media brands for children, focusing on the popular kids franchise, Gabby’s Dollhouse—a Netflix preschool series by DreamWorks—and its smart strategy. She underscores the need for patience and long-term commitment.

She also emphasizes a strategically planned content release, arguing against the trend of single season commissions and emphasizing the necessity of at least two seasons for gradual audience growth. Moreover, she highlights the importance of coordinating content launches with marketing efforts, suggesting that a well-timed marketing push on the day of content release can significantly boost visibility on streaming platforms.

“If you’re launching and streaming, I have a big belief that there are certain things that you can be doing that’ll help the algorithm of the streamers work. And the number one thing is that day one, your content’s on there. That is the day you hit with all the marketing.”

Streaming vs. Theatrical Releases

Emily advocates for a balanced approach of theatrical releases paired with strategic streaming windows. She offers data showing that a windowed theatrical release followed by streaming can lead to better cross-platform engagement without sacrificing streaming performance, even when the box office numbers are less than stellar.

When discussing the effects of straight-to-streaming movies, she points out that while films like Encanto, Luca, and Turning Red were massive hits, films with limited or nonexistent theatrical runs don’t typically achieve the same cultural impact or engagement longevity. A well-thought-out release strategy is crucial to creating marquee hits that establish fandoms and promote franchise development.

Gaming’s Future and Its Influence

Dylan and Emily discuss the growing impact of gaming on media consumption for younger audiences. Traditional media, especially kids content, is increasingly being overshadowed by gaming platforms like Roblox. Emily sees these gaming platforms as possible sources of the next big intellectual properties, similar to how YouTube brought forth massive franchises like Cocomelon.

Viewing the shift towards gaming as an opportunity rather than a threat, Emily underscores the potential of gaming platforms to spur innovative content creation and cross-platform engagement. With gaming taking up more of kids’ media consumption time, the challenge and opportunity lie in how to best leverage gaming platforms and their vast potential for generating new IP.

“Smarter people will see it as an opportunity, and look to gaming for some of these intellectual properties and how they can be expressed across multiple platforms.”

Tune in to the Podcast

Join the #Kidtech podcast conversation! Listen here and subscribe to catch new episodes from Dylan and industry leaders. You can find Emily Horgan on Twitter, LinkedIn, or through her The Kids StreamerSphere newsletter.

To learn more about young audiences’ influence over household streaming decisions, read our latest study exploring how parents make streaming decisions for the family, Gen Alpha and Gen Z: In Control of the Family Remote.

Interested in leveraging a gaming strategy for your entertainment brand? Get in touch with SuperAwesome!