Recognizing that it’s core demographic of kids 2 to 11 doesn’t really care that people used to watch TV strictly on TV, Cartoon Network is aggressively pursuing a multiplatform development strategy for most of its shows, with almost every program including a tie-in game and/or digital experience.
The annual kids’ market is worth $800 million in upfront advertising commitments, reports Variety. Besides Cartoon Network, other top players include Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Disney’s branded kids’ cable networks.
Cartoon Network revealed its 2017-18 programming slate at its upfront event on Thursday, and it includes six new shows and seven returning ones for a total of 13. It also offers more than 20 mobile and console games.
The network is now “playing a total consumption game, although we still lack a measurement for it,” Christina Miller, president of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang said, according to Adweek. “We’re really looking at how kids are spending their amount of time and how we can deliver the best engagement across our brands and our platforms.”
The first peek into this strategy came last year with the network’s launch of Mighty Magiswords, which lives online, on-air and as a game.
All of Cartoon’s new shows will follow this model going forward, said Miller: “We’ve created this very connected brand experience.”
RELATED: From Digital Short to Linear Series, ‘Mighty Magiswords’ Takes New Development Approach
Next up using that model is OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes. The show, about the adventures of an optimistic boy, was actually first game OK K.O! Lakewood Plaza Turbo, Cartoon Network’s first standalone mobile game. OK K.O. also will become a console game later this year, which Cartoon Network jointly developed with game studio Capybara Games.
Other new shows coming to the platform include Apple & Onion, Craig of the Creek, Summer Camp Island, the TV version of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, based on the two-movie franchise, and a revamped version of the network’s Ben 10 franchise, which will debut next month.
Returning shows include Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, Mighty Magiswords, The Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans Go!, Steven Universe and The Amazing World of Gumball.
The network also talked about several new upcoming console games on Tuesday, with many series being spun off into games including The Powerpuff Girls Lego Dimensions, Ben 10: Up to Speed, Steven Universe: Save the Light and Mighty Magiswords extension, Surely You Quest.
READ MORE: Adweek, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter
[Cube image courtesy of Cartoon Network via Adweek]