Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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CAKE’s Bianca Rodriguez


Last August, CAKE sealed an international distribution deal with the female-led studio Kukua to represent Super Sema, an African animated kids’ superhero franchise that originated on YouTube. Bianca Rodriguez, head of sales at CAKE, talks to TV Kids about how the London-based distribution and production outfit is driving new windowing strategies in the ever-changing kids’ media ecosystem with its slate of titles commissioned by free, pay and on-demand platforms.

***Image***TV KIDS: How have your windowing strategies evolved over the last year?
RODRIGUEZ: We have found that good platform-agnostic content is leading to greater windowing possibilities, with broadcasters more open to sharing rights with VOD platforms. This is particularly the case when it comes to big brands such as Angry Birds, which we have successfully placed across pay TV, free TV, SVOD and AVOD worldwide, with platforms sharing windows on a non-exclusive basis.

In addition, the traditional windowing standards (pay TV first, then free TV and then VOD) are becoming less relevant. We [launched] Super Sema, a YouTube original series, at MIPCOM. While the series is performing well on YouTube, we feel it will also appeal to broadcasters and SVOD platforms. The content is original—the world’s first-to-launch African animated kids’ superhero franchise—and has a strong creative team behind it (including Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o). At the end of the day, everybody wants good content in the fight for audiences.

TV KIDS: Are broadcasters and platforms becoming more open to non-exclusive windows, especially in the AVOD space?
RODRIGUEZ: From our experience, we have found that broadcasters and platforms are slowly becoming more receptive to non-exclusivity in the AVOD space. This might change as some major players grow bigger, and we will need to see how that plays out.

TV KIDS: What effect has the emergence of so many AVOD operators had on how you approach maximizing distribution revenues on a show?
RODRIGUEZ: The AVOD operators have provided a new window for content and, therefore, a new opportunity for revenue. While we aim to place our content with the major operators, by signing multiple non-exclusive deals we are able to maximize distribution revenues on a show.

TV KIDS: What factors do you consider when developing a distribution strategy for a show?
RODRIGUEZ: Firstly, you need to consider the nature and aim of the show. The strategy will be different if it is a commercial show aimed at capturing eyeballs, an educational show perhaps more appealing to public channels or a niche show aimed at a particular audience or platform.

Secondly, you need to take into account excluded territories and rights. If some key territories are no longer available, the show may have less appeal for certain global channels, so we might look at creating territory- or region-specific strategies. Regarding rights, if the show is a YouTube or Netflix original, the strategy would be different from a show that has not aired previously.

And lastly, it is important to consider whether the show is fully financed. If part of the financing is still required, then we will approach partners who are able to fill this gap first and plan our strategy accordingly.

TV KIDS: What impact are evolving windowing strategies having on financing models?
RODRIGUEZ: Historically, we relied on global pay-TV and free-TV channels and, lately, big SVOD and AVOD platforms to help complete the financing of a show. Today, there are increasingly more options, and if you can secure financing from several platforms that can either commission or prebuy, their individual investment tends to be lower. The risk is spread across several partners, which can be a winning scenario.

TV KIDS: How do you see windowing changing in the 12 to 18 months ahead?
RODRIGUEZ: As broadcasters and platforms are becoming more open to sharing content, we might see more shows created by AVOD platforms being distributed to other platforms and channels, and for platform-agnostic content, windowing strategies will certainly become varied and more complex.






About Mansha Daswani

Mansha Daswani is the editor and associate publisher of World Screen. She can be reached on mdaswani@worldscreen.com.

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