HITN TV Programming and Acquisitions Director Erika Vogt, a veteran in the Hispanic media world, discusses the challenges Hispanic families face in the children’s entertainment market – and shares what HITN TV is doing about it.
The children’s entertainment market faces numerous challenges, especially among Hispanic families in the United States. Many of these hurdles are intrinsic to the characteristics of the Hispanic market in general; others are specifically related to the children’s entertainment space as it pertains to the Hispanic community.
It is no secret that the Hispanic market is extremely diverse, not only by nationality, but also in terms of language preference. A total of 57.5 million Hispanics live in the United States. Currently, one in every four children born in this country is of Hispanic origin, and that number is projected to rise to one in three by 2050. In some states, more than half of children are Hispanic.
While previous generations focused on “acculturation” by speaking mostly English at home, today’s Hispanic parents are embracing their roots and encouraging their children to be bilingual, largely by consuming linear and digital media and entertainment products designed for pre-school children.
Some tools are already on the market to help children, parents, and caregivers succeed in this endeavor. But parents like me want a safe space where anything and everything that comes across as an option for their youngest and most easily influenced children (ages 0 to 5), is not only varied, educational and entertaining, but has also been carefully and critically selected with their best interest in mind.
HITN, a Spanish-language nonprofit Pay TV network that provides high-quality programming that educates and entertains, is taking on this challenge by offering a variety of educational, entertaining and ‘safe content’ on a digital platform called AVANZA Kids (working title).
The service has four components that are attractive for kids and give parents and caregivers the tools they need to feel comfortable letting their children consume and interact with content on a single digital platform. The components are: video content, interactive games, digital books, and parental guides for asking specific questions designed to generate more engaging and dynamic conversations with children regarding what they are consuming on the service.
HITN is currently in the process of acquiring content for the service and developing the accompanying parental guides. We are expecting to launch over the next months in partnership with our most important pay TV distributors. Avanza Kids will have a large content offering that will be refreshed as often as possible to keep the service relevant and fresh for both parents and children. It will be available directly on the operators VOD services as well as through iOS, Android and Apple TV apps.
In HITN we believe our experience has prepared us to take on this task. We are trying our best to design a platform that addresses the challenges we see in this rapidly transforming space – especially for the well-being of our future generations. I am both professionally and personally invested in this project and am incredibly proud to be involved with it as part of my genuine passion for providing both parents and children a safe entertainment space.
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