02 Aug Behind PBS Kids’ Gaming, Podcasting and Streaming Expansion Amid Kids Industry Cutbacks [The Hollywood Reporter]
BY ABBEY WHITE
August 2, 2023 | As streamers increased their presence within U.S. households, they turned to kids content, a space that has historically been cheaper to produce but yielded higher financial returns, as evidenced by successes like Paw Patrol, Cocomelon, Gabby’s Dollhouse and Bluey.
But led in a cost-cutting strategy by Warner Bros. Discovery (and followed by the likes of Disney, Netflix and Paramount), over the last two years, even legacy brands like Scooby-Doo and Sesame Street have become victims of cancellation or disappearance from platforms with little warning and little to no other ways to access the content.
As many others in the industry are pulling back in the kids space, PBS is gearing up to do even more. “When you think of kids media as just a marketing tool or if you think of it as a way to boost your subscribers, you’re missing a huge opportunity to really use the creative potential of these formats to enrich lives, to help kids want to learn more, and to show them worlds that they might not get to see otherwise,” says Sara DeWitt, SVP and general manager at PBS Kids.
The kids-focused programming from America’s public broadcaster has been operating for decades, but has always kept to its mission: Bringing educational and exciting non-commercial media — covering everything from climate change to AI — to kids and reaching them in the ways children are looking for content, while also thinking about those who don’t necessarily have access.