M6 Group’s Maud Branly

The M6 Group boasts a broad array of offerings for kids and families, from Gulli, the M6 Kid block, Canal J and TiJi in France to Gulli Girl and TiJi in the Baltics and CIS, Gulli Bil Arabi and Gulli Africa. Maud Branly, children’s acquisitions director and international TV channels children’s programming director, oversees the content mix across this varied bouquet. Her work was recognized with the TV Kids Pioneer Award.

***Image***TV KIDS: How has your acquisition strategy had to adjust to kids’ changing viewing habits?
BRANLY: We all know that the media industry as a whole is still going through an intensive shift. We communicate with children of the digital-native generation, and we have to adapt our content and strategy to these new consumer habits. It is now more and more important to acquire “deep rights” and to be able to propose the right combination between linear broadcast and nonlinear exploitation. We are looking for content that we can exploit across all our platforms.

TV KIDS: Has securing exclusivity become more important?
BRANLY: Competition is stronger as there are more and more [players] in the market. In this competitive context, it is essential for us to propose exclusive content for kids that they will find only on our channels and services. So yes, we are taking exclusive rights wherever we can and covering broader usage across VOD. Having said this, if something is outstanding and already on pay TV or a [digital] platform, we are happy to be part of it anyway. We work on a case-by-case basis and have different approaches depending on the program.

TV KIDS: With regard to acquisitions, what are you looking for?
BRANLY: We have very diverse needs! We have such a wide range of channels, platforms and targets throughout all the territories, so we are flexible and broadminded. We are always looking for high-profile content, shows in live action and animation. We want well-told stories with fresh and funny designs.

On Gulli, we propose a lot of original creations, but we also have well-known and beloved franchises such as The Loud HousePokémonBarbie and Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks. We are looking for shows that fit the Gulli DNA: comedy, laughter and based in reality for kids to recognize themselves. Mainly, what we will be looking at in the animation space is comedy. The positioning of Gulli is to target kids from 4 to 12, so we’re also looking for upper-preschool, action-adventure, girls’ shows and live-action series. We want to keep offering all kinds of content to our audience.

For TiJi in France, our priority is to find upper-preschool shows targeting kids from 5 to 7. The channel is slightly more girly. Our top series are Polly PocketSpirit and Zoom the White Dolphin.

Canal J is our action-adventure channel for kids from 6 to 10. The top shows are PokémonPower Rangers and Kung Fu Panda.

For all our channels, we are looking for shows with a lot of volume, if possible, so that we can create big blocks of programs in the grid and create brands in the long term.

TV KIDS: How are you localizing the channels outside of France?
BRANLY: It’s very important to have content available on all our channels for the brands’ consistency and because we share a similar DNA in terms of values (tolerance, openness and cheerfulness). This is often the case for the French content. This is also a way to contribute to the promotion of French animation, which has a substantial share of the grid. We adapt the programming grids to the kids’ habits and school rhythms and broadcast local content. So, our acquisition strategy for those channels is to propose the right balance between French animation, international blockbusters and local content.