Having recently been panelists or producers on the CMC’s debate session on future funding, one of the clearest takeouts for us was that the British children’s screen industry, as we know it, is under existential threat. And that has substantial implications for creators, broadcasters and platforms, children and, ultimately, UK society.
We understand a number of the drivers behind this threat – the rise of on-demand and digital as a way that children consume media, globalised platform models, and pressure on PSB broadcasters amongst others. But we – and politicians, parents, institutions and other stakeholders – do not understand how this will map out, what it means for the industry, children and social cohesion, and how to best position the UK to ensure a relevant voice for children going forward.
Because of this, we and others are launching The UK Children’s Media Plan with a single aim – to bring the industry and stakeholders together to research, model out, develop strategic options and deliver a sustainable children’s content ecology for the next 10-15 years. At Animation UK, we are working on including measures such as tax credits and without prejudging the issue, its solutions could include Government funding but may equally include regulation, co-operation, private investment and working with adjacent sectors, such as education.
The UK Children’s Media Plan will launch early in the New Year. Key stakeholders, as well as people with the skills we need to do this, are already part of the conversation and we hope you will join in too. More on this to come and Animation UK are looking forward to discussing the development with the MAF industry Day audience.
Greg Boardman, Owner at Three Stones Media and Rastamouse Company
Oli Hyatt OBE, CEO at Blue Zoo
Paul Naha-Biswas, MD at Mediaator and Founder of Boclips
Kate O’Connor, Executive Chair at Animation UK