Why kids lead the way
In the first Scene of Act 2, we saw Edutainment was predominantly aimed at children. The most obvious way of doing this? Toys.
Edutainment has grown since then, but when it comes to kids, a couple of things have stayed the same:
- Toys are powerful. Don’t underestimate that.
- Kids are smart. They know how to get ahead of the curve.
Don’t underestimate the power of toys
Venture Capitalist Chris Dixon famously proclaimed the next big thing will start out looking like a toy. While he was referring to ideas like Airbnb and Uber, this statement is truer and more wide-reaching than ever. In fact, as Edutainment permeates further, the next big thing may even be a toy.
One to ponder: Which other toys could become huge businesses?
Kids are ahead of the curve
Kids and the way they learn are dictating the moods and trends of the Edutainment market more widely. Edutainment is evolving to keep kids engaged more so they don’t become disinterested in the classroom or out in the wild. Here are a few of our favorite examples of brands doing right:
This digital app uses storytelling to teach kids to think creatively and critically. It allows them to develop problem-solving skills and to adapt to new challenges, so they can express their thoughts and feelings with clarity. Oh, and they’re also getting into NFTs...
The Toniebox is a screen-free digital listening device that plays stories, songs, and more. It encourages listeners, ages 3 and older, to play imaginatively and has no e-commerce feature, which means parents don’t have to worry about unnecessary purchases by their kids. To date, the company has sold 1.7 million Tonieboxes.
Founded in 2017, this edtech site combines play, story, imagination, and science process skills for an engaging STEAM experience. Each science lesson starts with a story, which creates more engagement and interaction with the experiment. It’s aimed at children aged 3-8 and features video guidance for parents and teachers.
Why kids’ stuff matters now than ever
Children of today have more options and more control of their programming choices which was definitely not the case for most of us growing up. Kids today maneuver from one platform to another; YouTube, children’s apps, livestreams just to name but a few. While this is great in terms of having multiple learning avenues, this, unfortunately, increases the chances of your child being exposed to harmful content while on these platforms.
That’s why it’s important to have platforms that are dedicated and committed to solely producing children’s content. A good example is Akili Kids! which has a comprehensive protective advertising policy.
Brands step up
As families across the world need a hand around the home, many brands have risen to the occasion by offering free, useful resources to help them adjust to this new normal.
Although this catastrophe is a circumstance no marketing director or CMO would ever wish for, brands have a huge opportunity - and responsibility - to aid and empathize with current and future customers. The “Brandnies” (ok, we don’t love that term, but whatever) that show up for moms, dads, and children during the COVID-19 Pandemic will foster long-term trust, connection, and brand loyalty.
A blended future
Parents are looking for ways to supplement their kids’ virtual or disrupted learning. In a recent survey by Giraffe Analytics, 32% of parents said their kids have been watching more education/learning content since lockdowns began, and 72% said that even when kids are back in school, they plan on continuing to supplement their learning with educational shows.
Kids Media & Tech = Edutainment that goes beyond supplemental learning material
Moonbug is the company behind Cocomelon - the 3rd-most-subscribed YouTube channel in the world with 97 million subscribers and 3 billion monthly views. Juicy.
The content these companies create will continue to be at the forefront of Edutainment. To stay relevant, brands and companies will need to keep their resources on point.
Here are a few elements to consider for incumbents and new entrants alike:
- Improving Emotional Intelligence: Emotional educational programming will have a bigger influence on Edutainment. It will focus on improving the whole child, not just their cognitive skills like reading and math.
- Positive Thinking: Positive characters who have a good attitude and promote hard work, determination, humanity, and teamwork will need to be featured in videos and online games. Kids easily connect with them and are influenced by their positivity.
- Inclusive Edutainment: Edutainment will need to be inclusive and accessible. Although digital continues to lead the way, the pandemic has shown there’s still an enormous gap in resources. Content and experiences need to be made available to all - whether it’s through fibre-optic or flashcards.
What else can we learn from the kids?
Spoiler: a lot. Here are a few ideas.
1. Socially Conscious Play
Toymakers are creating toys that foster social responsibility and awareness as the demand to become better global citizens increases. These toys promote diversity, encourage sustainability, and promote the protection of endangered species.
2. Edutainment can provide both safety and curation
With 68% of parents saying their kids had watched YouTube to learn something new in the past week, content will have to appeal to both parents and children. This will ensure parents can feel like they’re helping their kids make good choices.
3. Real life matters
To become well-rounded adults, kids will need to understand social justice, social-emotional learning, identity development, and mental health. Edutainment will have to include real-life issues in addition to curriculum-based material to help achieve this goal.
4. Learning is fun, and learners (should be) actively engaged
Edutainment will have to embrace the idea that students are there because they want to be. When content is fun and engaging, students will show up by choice.
5. The future of learning will be social
Powerful tools for Edutainment will have to include both a learning platform and a social network. TikTok is a great example of this because people find their friends, scroll through content, and along the way find new groups with shared interests.
Other Kids Stuff We’re Into
During our research, we discovered LOADS of cool kids edutainment products and companies. We couldn’t include them all, but here are a few more we’re into...
This kid's book that teaches kids concepts like freedom, economics, and the government is being converted into a TV series. To date, a crowdfunding campaign aiming to take a book concept to series format has raised over $2MM.
This Indian tech company saw an 177% increase in Edutainment content. Viewership rose on a whole. But kids streaming saw the biggest increase at 205%.
“Baby Shark” became popular in kids’ music, and shows like “Tales of Akbar and Birbal” and “Bal Ganesha” led the way in terms of viewership.