sheffieldThe Children’s Media Conference was again a great mix of useful networking and informative panels. There is a relaxed culture and manageable size to the event which makes for a very open approachability – and being in Sheffield people don’t tend to dip in and out.

Where the mood music in previous years has been of a challenged industry, the delivery and impact of tax reliefs seems to have generated a healthy new momentum.

The main topic of discussion underlying this conference was the impact of digital channels and formats, although consensus was fairly relaxed on the opportunity or threat of these changes. This was most clearly demonstrated in a panel where the chair gamely tried to set out extreme future scenarios to provoke some disagreement – without any great success…

The fact that this fragmentation of attention doesn’t necessarily generate a dichotomy of traditional vs digital is perhaps demonstrated in two pieces of information.

During the conference a fascinating presentation from Ofcom highlighted the appeal (and value) of YouTube to a tween audience – content which may not have the production values of TV but has an authenticity and immediacy which resonates.


Contrast this with a report from Group M, quoted in the FT, which forecasts a 9% rise in TV advertising this year.

And maybe these on the surface contradictory facts underpin the relaxed position of the industry – we are now in a reality where change is an expected constant and an agility and ability to adapt is a pre-requisite, factored in to strategic planning – there is no longer a status quo to protect or mourn its passing.

And a nice addition to my views from hotel windows collection above.

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