Articles

Fun Kids Launches New Skill for Amazon Echo

The first Alexa skills built specifically for kids are now live in the UK and the children’s radio station Fun Kids is a launch partner.

Amazon’s new Kid Skills give parents a layer of control over how their children use the popular Amazon Echo range of smart speakers, whitelisting and promoting approved apps.

Joining Fun Kids is content from The Beano, Duplo and Pac Man.

David Madelin, CTO at Fun Kids says “We want kids and families to be able to discover Fun Kids on all of their devices. We’re excited to have worked with Amazon to get this ready for the launch of Kid Skills and look forward to adding more features over the coming weeks.”

Fun Kids listeners can stream the radio station and ask Alexa questions about what’s currently playing on-air.

For any families who’ve enabled Kid Skills the request to “Play Fun Kids” will be delivered directly by the skill, rather than using a third party aggregator like TuneIn.

Dave continues “It’s important that we own the relationship with our listeners so we can deliver them a great product, but also to ensure we’re looking after children’s digital data, especially as new legislation comes into force this month.”

Fun Kids is the World’s Biggest Children’s Podcaster

UK children’s radio station Fun Kids is now the biggest producer of family podcasts in the world.

The station, which broadcasts nationwide in the UK on DAB Digital Radio, has been making podcasts since 2009, but they’re now responsible for 68 different podcast channels on a wide-range of topics to appeal to the interests of kids and families.

“Fun Kids has always been jam-packed with the most interesting content” says Station Manager Matt Deegan “we’re excited to make it over 2,000 episodes available to everyone, for free”.

In the UK kids are strong podcast listeners. According to RAJAR’s recent JamJar research, 18% of UK children (9 to 14s) listen to podcasts each week, on average for 41 minutes each.

The station produces regular podcast-specific shows including weekly kids magazine The Fun Kids Download presented by Sean Thorne and the Fun Kids Science Weekly presented by Dan Simpson with features about space, the human body and interviews with scientists from all over the world.

Today Fun Kids is announcing the Fun Kids Book Club – a new reading podcast. Its first episode kicks off with an interview with Kid Normal authors Greg James and Chris Smith, a reading from the new Future Ratboy book by author Jim Smith and presenter Bex Lindsay‘s top five books for the summer.

Alongside these podcasts, kids and parents can download Professor Hallux Builds a BodyDeep Space HighAge of the DinosaursMarina Ventura’s Guide to Our Planet and many more. There’s even a not-quite-Serial series called Bryony Brownwell’s Mystery Project. All of them are free and most are full-series so kids can binge-listen to their heart’s content.

The Fun Kids team has worked alongside many partners including the UK Space Agency, the National Gallery, the Bank of England, the Intellectual Property Office and the British Heart Foundation to produce some of these great shows.

As well as loads of audio podcasts, the station’s got a range of video podcasts too. Kids can keep up to date on the going’s on at Disney’s The Lodge and even watch cartoons to learn languages like Polish.

Matt Deegan: “Over a quarter of million children listen to Fun Kids on their radios, but we want to make all of our great shows available on parents’ phones, the family tablet and on the desktop too.”

All 68 podcast channels are available on funkidslive.com/podcasts, the Fun Kids appitunes.com/funkids and many of the world’s podcast aggregators.

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.

Junior Eurovision Partnership

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On 21st November it’s the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 and only one place in the UK will be bringing you all the action – Fun Kids!

As our exclusive partner, you will be placed at the centre of this exciting activity.

Across the entire week, Bex will be hosting our flagship show, The Club, at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bulgaria. Every day listeners will hear exclusive content, including interviews, backstage access, all culminating in an exclusive live broadcast of the show on 21st November.

Promoted across Fun Kids, this will be a unique 4-week partnership opportunity to promote your brand bringing it to hundreds of thousands of families listening across the country.

Click here to download the full opportunity

Christmas Partnership 2015

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Christmas is a big time for families! And Fun Kids can embrace this time of year like no other station with a whole schedule packed with non-stop Christmas music, Panto Guide and even Santa presenting every day!

Once again we’re looking for a Fun Kids’ Christmas Partner, giving you exclusive sponsorship that positions your brand at the heart of all Christmas programming on the radio.

With successful partners, such as Random House (view case study), this is a great way to make your brand front of mind in the  lead up to Christmas.

Click here to download the full opportunity

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”.

Brick 2014 Partnership Opportunity

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This November, Fun Kids – the UK’s only radio station dedicated to children and their parents – will be at the exciting family festival, Brick 2014!

Naturally families love LEGO! And so we’ll be in the centre with one of the biggest areas on site and the station broadcasting live across the four days.

As our Partner, we’ll place your brand at the heart of the action making it front of mind for the 60,000 festival goers and the hundreds of thousands of families tuning into Fun Kids across the rest of the UK! This is an ideal opportunity for your brand to reach families in the lead up to Christmas.

You will receive a ready-made experiential events package and team to directly engage families with your brand through physical branding, sampling and fantastic brand activation all supported with extensive on air and online activity.

Click here to download the full opportunity

Back to School Partnership Opportunity

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Our listeners don’t want to hear it, but pretty soon children and parents will be gearing up for that important time in the family calendar – the first day at school!

As the UK’s only radio station dedicated to children and their parents, Fun Kids is in a unique position to really embrace this time with an exciting Back to School programming campaign.

In the weeks leading up to and covering that first week at school, the campaign will include parent advice, tips from fellow children, a dedicated micro-site and a unique school competition to make that first day as fun as possible!

Naturally this presents a fantastic opportunity for a brand to have exclusive sponsorship of this programming, placing you at the centre of the Fun Kids Back to School programming and this special time of year for families.

As our partner we will also shape commercial messaging in a creative way – from bespoke features to video content – to maximise your exposure and best suit your brand.

 

PDF-Icon-2Click here to download a summary

 

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

Exclusive Station Partner of Fun Kids at KidZania

KidZania Kids Roles

PDF-Icon-2 Click here to read the full opportunity

As the UK’s only radio station, who better to be the official radio station at KidZania – the UK’s first child-sized city!

KidZaniaLocated in Westfield London and with 1 million children forecast to visit in 2015, Fun Kids will be at the heart of this unique attraction with a real life radio station run by children and broadcasting live across the city.

We have the opportunity for one brand to be our Exclusive Station Partner for 12 months.

As our partner, your brand will be at the centre of all the action. Through on air, experiential, sampling and online activity, your brand will not only reach every single child and parent that walks through KidZania, but you’ll also get to create an in-depth relationship between your brand, the child and their extended family.

PDF-Icon-2 Click here to read the full opportunity

 

 

 

 

 



Contact the team on 020 7739 7880 or email.