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Fun Kids Goes Nationwide on DAB

Radio’s biggest unserved audience – children – finally get a radio station they can call their own, with the nationwide launch of Folder Media’s children’s radio station Fun Kids.

Fun Kids broadcasts a mix of music, games and silliness for 6 to 12 year olds, hosted by a group of exciting, young radio presenters. In addition the station brings sing-a-longs, stories and learning for pre-schoolers with Fun Kids Junior, on-air when older brothers and sisters are at school.

Fun Kids, which up to now, has only broadcast on digital radio in London has enjoyed considerable success over the past five years, winning industry awards and reaching over a quarter of million young listeners each week.

Matt Deegan, Station Manager of Fun Kids: “Up until now children have been abandoned by the radio industry – both by commercial radio and the BBC. Fun Kids has built a large audience by catering for their tastes and interests, but we’ve been limited by just broadcasting digitally in London. The launch of Fun Kids across the UK will allow more children to have a radio station that they can call their own. Many radio stations talk about the need to bring young listeners to radio, but we’re the only ones actually doing it.”

As well as a broadcast radio station, Fun Kids has a popular website, operates over 150 podcasts channels and runs 6 YouTube channels covering everything from gaming to education.

Matt continues: “Kids are natively multi-platform. Whether it’s TV, the radio, tablets or hand-me-down iPhones, kids love content made for them. Growing our digital radio reach means that we’ll be reaching more radios and unlocking the 1.9m cars that came with DAB as standard last year, allowing kids, all over the UK, to spend even more time with Fun Kids”

Fun Kids’ national launch is part of a new national digital multiplex that will bring a selection of new radio stations to the UK. The station will go live to the UK on the 29th February. Listeners should ‘retune’ their radio to pick up Fun Kids and the other new stations.

Fun Kids Joins National DAB Bid

It’s been announced today, 29th January 2015, that children’s radio station Fun Kids has been included in Listen2Digital‘s application for the second national commercial multiplex.

The new multiplex will allow a selection of radio stations to broadcast nationwide for the first time on DAB Digital Radio. The licence, if successful, will mean Fun Kids will start broadcasting nationwide on DAB in Q2 2016.

This is the natural next step for the growth of Fun Kids following another fantastic year which has seen our on air audience increase by a third to 337,000 weekly listeners, a huge increase in our online traffic (250,000 MUUs) and a Station of the Year nomination at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards.

That’s not to mention exciting new programmes such as The Bin Weevils Show, partnerships with leading children’s brands and a series of successful live events at the UK’s biggest family festivals!

Joe Friel, Content and Partnerships Manager said “2015 is already proving to be a big year with exciting new programmes, partnerships and awards, it’s great to now be planning for an explosive 2016 too”.

Fun Kids launch iGeneration Report

It’s important that Fun Kids is in tune with its audience. We recently commissioned a report asking kids about their views on a myriad of different subjects. Here’s what we found out:

  • One in eight kids surveyed wish pop videos were less ‘sexy’, with a third stating they would stop listening to pop music if they no longer respect the singer
  • One in ten kids say pop videos make them feel uncomfortable and a third of kids (28 per cent) think that pop stars should set a better example – supported by Ella Eyre
  • A third (33 per cent) don’t care if toys are labeled for boys or girls – but more than one in ten (13 per cent) parents don’t allow their children to play with toys that are not aimed at their gender
  • When asked about what’s important to them, kids would rather be happy, kind and have a loving family than be popular, famous or pretty
  • The iGeneration Report also looked at everything from immigration – revealing that 90 per cent of kids don’t care where their friends are from – to sexuality, showing that two fifths think anyone should be allowed to marry so long as they love each other
  • Every week the news is full of stories of parents worrying about issues affecting their kids – but has anyone actually asked the kids what they think about these pressing topics?
  • Now, the first major new opinion study of kids – the iGeneration Report from Fun Kids Radio – does just that. This groundbreaking study researched 2,000 children aged eight to fourteen on topics such as sexualisation, sexuality, diet and even immigration – and reveals that kids are far more self aware, self-monitoring and self-protective than parents give them credit.

On the basis of the finding that children as young as eight are well-informed, mindful of their behaviour and have strong opinions, the report highlights how key decision makers in kids’ lives should consider giving this unrepresented demographic of eight to fourteen year olds more of a voice within society – and more autonomy when decisions concerning their future are made.

In particular, kids themselves are most concerned about the pop industry and the increasing ‘sexiness’ of musicians and their music videos – such as those of Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Robin Thicke. Despite parents’ fears – with one in 20 (4 per cent) banning their kids from watching these videos – over one in ten kids (13 per cent) wished their videos were ‘less sexy’, with 11 per cent stating they would respect the stars more if they wore more clothes.

One in ten (11 per cent) admitted the videos make them feel uncomfortable – leading to almost a third (28 per cent) stating that pop stars should set a better example.

In fact, over a third (31 per cent) of modern kids would make the independent decision to stop listening to a pop star’s music if they personally stopped respecting them – with another 30 per cent stopping if they took drugs, and a quarter (24 per cent) if they broke the law. One in seven (14 per cent) even shun artists if they find their lyrics to be offensive – demonstrating the iGeneration’s ability to make mature decisions about their own media consumption.

Commenting on the findings, pop star Ella Eyre said: “This survey shows just how important it is for singers and bands to listen to the opinions of their young fans. There’s just no need to be provocative or raunchy in music videos aimed at kids.”

Another current parenting concern – over ‘gendered’ toys and clothing – looks remarkably different when viewed through a child’s eyes. Over a third (33 per cent) of kids don’t care if toys are labeled for boys or girls – they like playing with what they like.

The same amount also feel that ‘kids don’t care’ what gender a toy is for – and a whopping 85 per cent think that toys should be egalitarian. Despite this, over a tenth (13 per cent) of parents don’t allow their children to play with toys that ‘aren’t suitable’ for their gender.

The same applies to clothing – two in every five (40 per cent) kids don’t think it matters if clothes are in ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ colours. This doesn’t stop one in seven parents who only buy their kids clothes in the ‘traditional colours’ for their gender – despite the one in ten (9 per cent) of kids who get annoyed by this.

The iGeneration Report also looked the values kids place on themselves and their lives, revealing that the most pressing concerns for kids are to be happy (54 per cent), clever (30 per cent), kind (27 per cent) and have a loving family (34 per cent).

Parental concerns over the impact of shows such as X Factor and Big Brother appear to be groundless, with only 3 per cent thinking it’s important to be able to sing / dance and a tiny one per cent wanting to be famous.

When it comes to what’s important in other people, the iGeneration could well be shaping up to be the most tolerant yet – not needing to be shielded from life by anxious adults.

A huge 90 per cent of kids aren’t worried about racial difference, not caring where their friends are from so long as they are good people. And with all the debate around what kids are taught in PSHE lessons, when asked about sexuality a hopeful two fifths (38 per cent) think anyone should be allowed to marry – as long as they love each other. Interestingly, when asked about marriage, one in ten kids (9 per cent) think the whole concept is old-fashioned.

Despite having rocketing disposable incomes – with the average child receiving £5 per week – the Report also reveals kids are fiscally aware, with one in four (24 per cent) worrying about the family’s finances. This leads to surprising philanthropy, with 12 per cent of kids saving their pocket money to help out their parents – and four per cent even saying no to pocket money as they are aware that their parents are struggling.

This financial cognisance also impacts on kids’ thoughts on their future – with children as young as eight already taking note of the state of the economy when considering their careers. A fifth (21 per cent) of iGeneration kids would forgo university to get a job as soon as they left school to earn money instead and under half said they wanted to go to university (46 per cent). The cost of education was a big factor, as 15 per cent of kids under the age of 14 already think that university will cost too much.

This mature attitude also extends to healthy lifestyles, another top parenting concern. A third (32 per cent) of kids know they should spend more time outside – but one in five (20 per cent) say their parents stop them from doing so. One in four (24 per cent) even connect technology with their lifestyle, admitting they would get out more if they had less tech to play with.

The habit of iGeneration to self-monitor and make their own sensible decisions didn’t just apply to their parents – it also related to their school and teachers. Perhaps Nicky Morgan could take note of the results of the iGeneration Report in her new role, as a tenth (10 per cent) of kids aged eight to fourteen don’t think that they given enough to do in lessons at school – three per cent even wish they had more homework.

Speaking about the findings of the Report, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health Cary Cooper at Lancaster University:

“It’s good to see that young children aren’t just interested in the obvious things such as pop music and football any more, now we see more and more children also having interests in meatier subjects like politics, and what’s more they’re beginning to form their own opinions about it. The iGeneration is more independent, and they’re not influenced solely by pop stars, footballers or even their parents – they have enough about themselves to form their own opinions.

“This heightened sense of individuality comes about due to exposure to a multitude of media. Social media may seem trivial to some of the older generation but for the young amongst us it’s a rich source of learning and a great place to read about news and popular culture – through it children can see all elements of topic and then form and shape their own opinions.

“In the USA, like here, two out of three families are working parents; whilst the parents work, the ‘latchkey kids’ learn from the plethora of media outlets available to them, thus they’re learning quicker and less likely to be solely influenced by their parents or the TV alone – perhaps a similar phenomenon is occurring here.”

Matt Deegan, station manager of Fun Kids Radio said:

“The iGeneration report has presented some really interesting findings. A standout point is that children aren’t as impressionable as previously thought. They enjoy the popstars and entertainers they see on TV and hear on the radio, but the majority know enough about themselves to not be influenced into making negative life choices as a result.

“Here at Fun Kids Radio we want to make sure that children’s voices are listened to, which is why it’s so great to see with these findings that children are attuned with what’s going on around them, and kids as young as eight are clearly well-informed and have strong opinions.

“Despite this, they are the most unrepresented demographic so we think that parents, politicians and companies should consider consulting kids when decisions concerning their future are made, so that children can have an influence over their own lives.”

Research of 2,000 UK children aged 8-14 years old commissioned by Fun Kids Radio was conducted by OnePoll between 20/06/14 – 30/06/14.

Find out more at: www.funkidsigeneration.com

Disney & Dreamworks Announce New VOD Deals

Netflix

Children’s content continues to make a splash on video on demand services with new deals announced by Dreamworks and Disney.

Disney have announced that Pixar and Disney films will be joining LOVEfilm. This includes titles like Wall-E, Ratatouille, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, as well as classic animation like Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo and Sword and the Stone.

Dreamworks meanwhile have completed the biggest deal in Netflix’s history by announcing that they’ll be creating 300 hours of new content. The output will include new material and content based on properties like Shrek and Madagascar.

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Moshi Monsters to Launch TV Show

News from Mind Candy this morning as Moshi Monsters have announced their embarking on a 52x11minute TV series.

According to TechCrunch they’ll be broadcast on linear and digital platforms, but no word yet on which broadcasters will be hosting them. It’s expected that they’ll start distribution talks at Licensing Expo in Vegas and Mip Jr in Cannes.

The TV show is headed up by Jocelyn Stevenson, who we worked with at Fun Kids when she developed What’s Your News for Nick Jr and we ran a radio version on the station. She’s a veteran of kids media having co-created Fraggle Rock and the Hoobs and Executive Produced Thomas and Friends, Barney and Bob the Builder.

There are also still plans for a full-length Moshi movie too.

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Fun Kids at Lollibop

Lollibop

At Fun Kids we love getting out and about, meeting listeners and doing fun events. This year we’re planning our biggest ever piece of outdoor activity by becoming a media partner of Lollibop.

Lollibop’s the perfect event for us, it targets the same audience – tweens and younger children – and it’s in London, where people can listen to us on DAB Digital Radio.

We’ll be broadcasting from the site for three days from a purpose-built RadioZone! There’s lots of opportunities for our partners to get involved, from sponsorship of all the activity to competitions and sampling. Get in touch with the team if you want to know more.

Here’s the official press release:

Children’s radio station Fun Kids is getting into the summer spirit by becoming a Media Partner of the UK’s biggest children’s festival Lollibop.

LolliBop which this year takes place on August 16, 17 & 18 in its new home, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, expects to attract 45,000 visitors over the three days.

The partnership means that Fun Kids will be taking the radio station to the festival and broadcasting from there all weekend.

Festival-goers will also get the chance at being a superstar DJ, introducing songs and being heard by thousands of Fun Kids listeners across the UK.

In the Fun Kids RadioZone, Lolliboppers will also be able to meet the DJs, hear readings from authors, take part in scientific experiments and dance along at the Fun Kids disco.

Matt Deegan, Station Manger at Fun Kids says “We’re taking the entire radio station to Lollibop and creating our biggest ever outdoor presence. We’re incredibly excited about meeting all of our listeners and telling new people all about Fun Kids too”.

With an incredible line-up – all aimed at children under the age of 10 – LolliBop combines some of the hottest names in kids entertainment, as well as hundreds of activities, workshops and interactive areas.  The 2013 programme includes Dick and Dom, Skylanders, Science Museum Live, Cloudbabies, Skylanders, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Peppa Pig, Poppy Cat, the Wot Wots, Transformers, The Go! Go! Go! Show, the Mr Men and Little Miss Village Green Event and  Shaun the Sheep’s Championsheeps.

LolliBop’s live theatre tent – The Lollipalladiam – showcases performances from pioneering and internationally renowned companies and artists. This year it features Spooked, from the critically acclaimed Broken Rose Performing Arts.  Spooked promises a hilarious and spectacular blend of dance, theatre and spoken word featuring skeletons Molly, Jinny and Charlie. There’s also a brand new Discovery Zone, Meadows area, Enchanted Woods, Lolli Promenade and much more.

Fun Kids is a radio station for Tweens, pre-schoolers and their families and broadcasts on DAB Digital Radio across London and the South East and online/through mobiles at funkidslive.com.

For more tickets and more information: http://www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

Fun Kids at Southbank

FK at Southbank

Fun Kids kicked off its activity at the Southbank’s Neighbourhood Festival this weekend, with Fun Kids Parties on Saturday and Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom.

It was all part of the work we’re doing with the Beano and DC Thomson. Dennis and Gnasher already have a show on Fun Kids, but it’s about to get a Beanotown upgrade with more characters and craziness. The Beano itself is going through a transformation, with a new TV series later in the year, more licensees and their own Beanotwon attraction on the Southbank from now until September.

The kids had a great time as we played music for them to dance to and silly games for them to join in with.

We’ll be holding more parties at Southbank over the Summer.

Here’s a video of what we got up to…

Disney Testing MagicBands for their Parks!

Disney-MagicBand

Disney announced at the D11 conference that they’re testing out wristbands – MagicBands – with their theme park users.

What this means is that guests won’t have tickets or cards to get in, or to book attractions they can just wave their wrist. They’ll also work as stored value cards for buying things at concessions across their park. There’s even the opportunity for staff to learn the names of their little users to enhance the Disney Experience.

AllThingsD has all the details.

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Unboxing a Box of Awesome

We talked about Box of Awesome in an earlier post, well now we’ve got hold of our own box!

Here’s our unboxing…

 

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YouTube Launches Pay-For Subscriptions

More YouTube news, this time it’s the introduction of paid-for subscriptions to channels.

In the announcement they talk about the launch of 53 trial channels. Many, as you would expect are US-based, but there is some UK content and quite a bit of kids content too.

The kids channels include:

It’s an interesting expansion for DHX, who are launching channels in multiple territories. It will also be interesting to see if some of the traditional children’s broadcasters launch channels too.

Meanwhile the Fun Kids YouTube channel continues to be free for everyone!

 

 

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Contact the team on 020 7739 7880 or email.