What’s next for children’s media?

Written by Jenna Galley

30 July 2019

In July our trend researchers headed to Sheffield for The Children’s Media Conference. The conference is the most important event in the UK for everyone involved in developing, producing and distributing content for kids. Welcoming delegates from television, radio, film, games, interactive media, publishing, licensing, toy and the arts and culture sectors to explore challenges, barriers, trends and new opportunities for children.

Here we share our key highlights:

Fortnite Phenomena: What creates a digital craze?

Beano XL YouTube 

Digital crazes aren’t a new phenomenon. There has been Moshi Monsters, Angry Birds, Minecraft and then in 2018 there was Fortnite, which became the biggest gaming craze for children aged 8 and up. In this session, hosted by Neil Court from 9 Story Media Group, the panellists discussed the reasons why digital crazes are moving faster than ever, why children are the first to know about it and explored ways brands could track emerging crazes to get ahead of the curve.

“Brands have to become more aware of merging trends and need to be quicker to react. The next challenge is trying to work what’s a trend and what’s a fad. In the digital age, we have to become more strategic with our content.” 

Kids Taking a Stand

As school strikes spread, environmental, economic and social futures look increasingly uncertain, children are constantly reminded, particularly by the media, that their future is bleak. In this session, a panel of 4 young change makers discussed their views on children’s media- urging brands to take note of the young activists trying to shape a more optimistic future. As they spark change in society – they challenged the media to consider their approach, to bring a new sense of purpose and action amongst the young, rather solely focusing on the negative.

“Young people are energised, hopeful and poised to take action, and hungry for content on activism – but they need the tools and resources to do it.” 

Gaming & Gambling: What’s the harm?


This session aimed to explore the cohesion of gambling and gaming cultures and the effects this has on children and young people. The session began with eye opening statistics, revealing that 14% of 11-16 year olds have gambled in the last week, which surprisingly is more than smoking, drinking or taking drugs. It was also revealed that 55,000 11-16 year olds have gambling problems. The panellists discussed the urgent need for awareness and education around gaming and gambling and questioned whether ‘loot boxes’ have a place in children’s gaming at all.

“Loot boxes can take many forms in gaming and certain safeguards need to be added to games to make this feature much more transparent. Awareness is key – gambling features are prevalent in 54% of the current top grossing mobile apps, of which 94% were deemed suitable for children.”

Click here to see the full programme and session reports.

For more insight and analysis on The Children’s Media Conference and The Future of Gaming make sure to subscribe to The Edit, our subscription service helping the world’s best brands stay in the know on what’s driving change in the Baby & Kid’s industry.

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