PBS, the nation’s most trusted provider of educational media for children, today announced that it will launch new 24/7 children’s services later this year. Provided by local stations, the free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms. PBS stations across the nation will be able to broadcast PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day on an additional television channel and offer a live stream, making it easy for children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high. Viewers will be able to watch the station-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices, tablets and over-the-top platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast.
The live stream complements on-demand clips and full episodes, which will continue to be available for free on the PBS KIDS Video App and streaming via pbskids.org. Streaming on pbskids.org accounts for nearly half of all time spent watching kids videos online, and the site is #1 in the kids category for total views and minutes spent.i Across digital platforms, PBS KIDS averages 419.8 million streams per month.ii
“Parents know that PBS KIDS makes a difference in their children’s lives, which is why so many have said they would value having access to our content throughout the day. Television continues to be the most widely used platform for children’s educational content, especially among low-income familiesiii,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “The new PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream offered by local member stations ensure that educational media is available to all families, all the time and via a platform that works for them. Given that 54% of all children nationwide do not have the opportunity to attend preschooliv, providing access is a critical element of our public service mission.”
Following its initial launch, the live stream experience will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The live stream and games feature is grounded in research demonstrating that measurable gains in learning are achieved when children engage with PBS KIDS content on multiple platforms. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s involvement and supporting learning.
These new, free services will provide learning opportunities for all children:
- PBS stations reach more kids aged 2-5, more moms with children under 6 years old and more children from low-income families than any other kids TV network.v PBS KIDS is the leader in streaming video, with pbskids.org placing first in the kids’ category for total video views and minutes spent.vi In a recent survey, PBS KIDS led all networks in improving kids’ behavior with 74% of parents saying their child exhibits more positive behavior after engaging with PBS KIDS.vii
- PBS serves all children and attracts a higher proportion of viewers from Hispanic and low-income households, compared to their representation in the U.S. population.viii
- Research confirms that PBS KIDS media content helps children build critical skills that enable them to find success in school and life, while also helping parents increase their own engagement. A recent study conducted by WestEd found that PBS KIDS resources can help narrow the math achievement gap for children from low-income families and better prepare them for kindergarten. Additionally, parents’ awareness of their children’s math learning increased significantly – as did their use of strategies to support their children’s learning.ix
- Nielsen data demonstrates that live TV is the dominant way children access video, accounting for 68% of the time children spend watching video content.x Most kids’ TV viewing takes place on weeknights and weekend afternoons and evenings.xi This trend is true for all children, but especially for those in low-income families.xii
The PBS KIDS 24/7 channel will include popular favorites, such as DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, ODD SQUAD, WILD KRATTSand DINOSAUR TRAIN; the new series NATURE CAT and READY JET GO!, which debuted February 15; and SPLASH (w.t.), a series from The Jim Henson Company that will premiere in fall 2016. Stations will be able to provide the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel in addition to their current primary PBS channel, which will continue to feature a PBS KIDS day part. The schedule of children’s programming on the primary PBS channel will be different from the 24/7 channel, offering families a variety of options.
The 24/7 PBS KIDS offering is an integral part of PBS’ long-term vision for its children’s service and will build on the reach and impact local stations already have in their communities, where they provide essential services for kids, parents and teachers. In the coming year, PBS and member stations will roll out a variety of additional initiatives designed to meet the needs of today’s children, including new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content, digital innovations and customizable tools for parents and caregivers.