Ian Lambur, executive VP of content strategy and co-productions at Cloudco Entertainment, talks to TV Kids about prioritizing creativity and the responsibility of kids’ content to entertain, inspire and educate.
Leading Cloudco Entertainment’s current portfolio of kids’ titles is Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, which has to its advantage a globally known brand at its center. Another brand boosted by nostalgia is the live-action series Holly Hobbie, for which Cloudco is currently in production on a third season. Newer IP on the company’s slate includes the animated kids’ sitcom Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese, which has bowed in the U.K. on CBBC and on Gulli in France to a positive reception as the company preps the show’s second season.
“Our goal is to create, develop and produce content, brands and consumer products that are all driven, always first and foremost, by creative excellence,” says Ian Lambur, executive VP of content strategy and co-productions at Cloudco Entertainment. This creative excellence mandate is what sets the company apart in the international market, according to Lambur. “Cloudco is medium-agnostic. In other words, what we develop and produce has much more to do with what we think best services a creative idea or series versus a mandate to keep feeding an existing animated or live-action pipeline.”
With that being said, Cloudco is keen to add to its catalog “original, dynamic, commercial and creatively driven ideas or concepts that make sense within our goal of a diversified portfolio,” says Lambur. In essence, the goal is to put forward content that “pops” in the crowded kids’ content landscape.
Amid COVID-19, among the effects has been in-person schooling shutdowns that have left many kids not only learning from home for the better part of a year, but also forced to find much of their entertainment within the home. As a result, content aimed at them is playing a larger role.
“Kids’ content is largely carrying the responsibility to entertain, inspire and educate kids that are spending much more time at home during the ongoing pandemic,” says Lambur, who sees opportunity in both animation and live action. “Animation is seeing a huge surge, as it has fewer COVID-related production challenges versus live action. By the same token, live-action shows that are being shot are carrying a higher value since there are fewer live-action productions.”
Looking ahead to the rest of 2021 and beyond, Lambur is hopeful that the shift from linear to OTT—which has only accelerated over the last year—begins to calm. With the new business landscape solidifying and taking shape, Lambur believes that it will become both more predictable and manageable.
“Short term, it feels as though the proliferation of new platforms will make existing brands with built-in awareness all the more valuable,” he explains. “We also expect to see calculated bets, as new platforms try to get original, defining hits to help them create an identity and establish a base that will lead to more subscribers and bigger audiences.”