Tatiana Costa, the general director at Gloob, talks to TV Kids about the challenges of working in the kids’ space, where consumption habits are changing rapidly and it has become increasingly important to deliver high-quality content to keep young ones engaged.
She highlights the value of continuing to develop co-productions in a competitive market, the growth opportunities in consumer products and more.
Operated by the Brazilian media giant Globosat, the kids’ channel Gloob launched in 2012 and offers animation and live-action programming that looks to promote positive values to its target audience. Many of its original shows, including S.O.S. Fairy Manu and Valentins, have been sold to broadcasters in markets around the world.
TV KIDS: Is Gloob available in countries outside of Brazil, and are there plans to launch the channel in other territories?
COSTA: It’s not available as a linear channel anywhere else apart from Brazil. However, we’re focused on distributing our original content, and thanks to our high-quality standards, in a little over two years it has been recognized by many broadcasters around the world. The shows are present in 44 countries on free-TV, pay-TV, VOD and in-flight entertainment platforms. We firmly believe that Gloob’s content will have much to contribute to the international kids’ programming space.
TV KIDS: What are the main territories where Gloob’s programming is present?
COSTA: For our live-action shows, the main territories are Europe, the Middle East and Africa. But we take pride that our content transcends cultural barriers and recently landed in territories like China and Scandinavia. In Latin America, we’ve launched content in Uruguay. We’re very excited about the new partnerships in development, as well as the great results the channel is garnering in Brazil.
Our live-action content is traveling very well, and we have titles like Brainiacs, which is our big bet. The show includes three seasons with additional [seasons] in production. We’re focusing mainly on live action, and I think we’re doing a very good job.
TV KIDS: Are international buyers looking for more shows with female leads?
COSTA: Buyers are looking for content that sends a positive message. It’s crucial that shows have a long life cycle so they can reach kids on linear and nonlinear platforms. Gender is important from a commercial perspective, but it depends on each platform’s strategy. Girl-empowerment is currently an important trend. I think it’s fundamental that girls be the stars of their own adventures, but we also have to look for content that presents boys in different settings from the traditional ones. Just like girls, boys have been excluded from many topics and stories, and it’s time that they participate in different journeys and adventures—this needs to become a trend.
It’s also important not to forget that music is a key element in kids’ content. Producing content with high musical value is important and a significant emotional aspect for kids.
TV KIDS: How are you working in the U.S. Hispanic market?
COSTA: We’re participating in this market through co-productions. We’re in conversations for developing strategic content for Gloob.
TV KIDS: What types of co-production opportunities are you exploring?
COSTA: That’s very important. I told my team that if I had to summarize last year’s MIPCOM in one word it would be “co-productions.” Every person we’ve talked to and everyone that’s approached us has touched upon co-production. We’re in a very competitive market, where costs are increasingly on the rise. Co-production is key because it allows us to expand our production value. At Gloob, we need to be creative in order to secure financing and to collaborate with the appropriate partners. One of our main goals is dedicating time and effort in establishing solid partnerships that are relevant in Brazil and around the world.
TV KIDS: In a world where there are so many options available on a plethora of platforms, what are kids currently looking for?
COSTA: Kids are looking for character-driven stories. It’s vital that content presents strong characters. At the end of the day, it has to do with compelling stories. This is core to every hit that we’ve had. We’re making sure that storytellers are always thinking about the characters. Without the good stories and characters, the property doesn’t have a chance to grow and reach as many viewers as possible.
TV KIDS: What licensing and merchandising opportunities do you see for the company’s IP?
COSTA: Developing content for kids is very challenging because they adapt very quickly to many things. They are interested in a wide range of topics, and they’re also trendsetters. As a company, we need to evolve rapidly and connect with them through many points of contact. It is currently impossible to only think of producing content for linear television. It is necessary to analyze kids’ entire experiential spectrum and offer them games and applications, as well as quality content on social media like Facebook and YouTube. We have to analyze the merchandise that makes sense for each of these platforms and the experiences that kids have.
TV KIDS: How are you managing windowing rights? Is it becoming increasingly more difficult with so many platforms now available?
COSTA: Absolutely. The rapidly-changing media landscape is not going to slow down, and we must adapt our stories to current trends. Kids access social media on a massive scale. It’s part of their daily routine, and we need to be present where they are.
TV KIDS: Where do you see opportunities for growth this year and looking ahead?
COSTA: We are 100 percent focused on developing successful content and IP that can travel, as well as generating significant change in the Brazilian audience. Additionally, all of the brands and franchises we license must include a 360-degreee strategy. In other words, they should be relevant for OTT platforms, linear television and social media. We are focusing on developing high-quality content with commercial appeal that aligns with Gloob’s values. This is our challenge in the coming years.