IN CONVERSATION WITH… Carolina Lightcap, GM of Discovery Kids Media
Discovery International launched Discovery Kids Media to develop, commission, co-produce and distribute kids animated and live-action content. Carolina Lightcap, EVP and chief content officer for DLA/USH, will add to her responsibilities the leadership of DKM as GM, and Danielle Davies joins as VP, kids content partnerships and revenue for DKM. The DKM team also will manage Discovery’s participation in joint venture agreements for kids productions, such as the recently announced redknot, a joint venture between Discovery and Nelvana. redknot just announced greenlights for two animated series: The Dog & Pony Show, created by Josh Selig, and Agent Binky: Pets of the Universe, based on the Kids Can Press graphic novels. Lightcap shared plans for DKM with CynKids:
Why is now the time to launch DKM, and what are the primary differences between the new unit and the existing Discovery Kids in Latin America?
The goal is to leverage the strength of Discovery Kids in Latin America, as the leading preschool network in the region. DKM will be working with Discovery Kids to source content earlier in the process, allowing us to retain rights inside and outside of Latin America. The shows themselves can be created anywhere in the world. For example, Big Top Academy, our co-production with Canada’s Apartment 11 and Cirque du Soleil, was shot entirely in Montreal in English. We have also produced animated shows in Canada in the past, natively in English, which were later dubbed into Spanish, Portuguese and other languages. With DKM exploiting the content to linear broadcasters and digital platforms internationally, we become an even more attractive partner to content creators and producers as well as networks in other territories.
There’s a rising trend in international co-productions in the kids media realm. How does this environment benefit DKM?
We have been active in co-productions for quite some time, working with companies such as eOne Family and Zodiak Kids. Now with DKM, we’ll continue to work in a collaborative manner with other partners, and look forward to deepening our relationships with the most diverse creators and studios
In what ways does this new business model help the company?
DKM gives us the flexibility to work on a broader variety of projects, both commissions as well as co-productions, for both linear and digital content. In addition, it allows us to maximize the potential of each property, since we’re able to design a full franchise plan taking into account all windows and products in order to deliver a comprehensive consumer experience.
What types of companies are you looking to partner with?
We look for companies or individuals bringing forth a unique creative vision in their projects, aimed at kids ranging from 4 to 8 years old. We’re especially keen on creators that can help us break new ground, as the kids landscape continues to change and evolve.
DKM has 15 projects in production. What can you share about your pipeline?
We have three shows ready to be shared with the world: Mini Beat Power Rockers, the No. 1 series on Discovery Kids Latin America; the recently launched Big Top Academy; and Zu & Her Zoo, along with a number of shows in development. At this time, we’re focusing on the three series that are ready for distribution. We look forward to making more announcements in the near future.