Tencent Video, the leading online video streaming platform in China, went to Cannes’s MipJunior to find fresh animated content for children. To know more, LM spoke with Qing Fan, producer, content investment and coproductions at Tencent Video.
Based on what criteria does Tencent Video choose its new kids’ animation projects?
We want both original content and international animation IP that we can acquire and adapt. We are always looking out for high-quality, fresh and original shows with compelling stories and globally appealing characters. We want to offer content that will not only engage and entertain children, but also play its part in helping them to learn and grow. So that could be content aimed at improving their numeracy, literacy and knowledge, or helping them to acquire valuable life skills that build confidence, empathy and communication abilities. Ideally, we want exciting new IP with a universal appeal.
Particular areas we are looking at to help Tencent Video Kids grow further include developing literary adaptations, which often come with an inbuilt fanbase – such as Supertato (52 x7’), our 2D-animated comedy co-production with the BBC and BBC Studios Kids & Family, and our live-action-comedy series The Story of Mi. We’re also currently lacking in animated content that appeals to older girls – aged 7+ – who tend to turn to other genres at that age, and we’re also keen to find more comedy shows aimed at kids aged 4-6 and magic-themed content for kids ages 7-9. We are also developing a pipeline of live-action productions in China and are in the market for more productions to add to that.
What are your business models for children’s IPs?
Our subscribers are at the heart of our business model so we need to have the flexibility to adapt to their wants and needs. That could mean providing shorter shows and seasons to reflect how they are consuming content nowadays or creating extra content to add value to a title and maintain the audience. We are forging opportunities to drive synergies across a variety of media formats, while new technologies are enabling us to maximise the appeal and reach of our long-form content by creating integrated viewing experiences and producing enriching short video content.
We know that original programming is very popular and also beneficial to attracting new subscriptions, so we are always looking to increase our percentage – such as Monsters in the Forbidden City (78 x 10′) which not only brought us a significant number of new subscriptions through three seasons currently available to view, but also retained this group of new viewers.
We often offer the first one or two episodes of a new series free of charge to attract new audiences who will hopefully then subscribe so they can continue to watch. However, we don’t do binge – we prefer to add episodes weekly in order to prolong the airing time, and will promote a series throughout the whole run. For popular shows we tend to greenlight the second series as soon as the first finishes so that viewers won’t have to wait too long for it to return – and so won’t have forgotten about it!
After the great success we’ve recently enjoyed with our international collaborations such as Supertato, The Creature Cases, The Coop Troop and Shasha and Milo, we’re looking to further expand our global footprint. But we won’t sacrifice quality for quantity – we would rather make fewer titles, but ones which are as good as possible to have a chance of longevity and that we can grow into franchises. In short, our business models revolve around creating fantastic content, and maximising that in the most appropriate ways.
Curated by Rossella Arena