THE YOUTUBE ERA of children’s programming represents a marked shift in what and how young kids watch video. For decades, children’s television was appointment viewing on a handful of broadcast networks. The UK and Canada had kids' programming on BBC and CBC, respectively. In the US, Saturday morning cartoons were king, while PBS set a gold standard for educational fare with long-running hits like Sesame Street. In the 1980s, the rise of cable led to the creation of several kid-specific channels, most famously Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.
The rise of streamers and “peak TV” led to a corresponding flood of children’s content, which is a major draw for audiences. How major? Over a third of the shows most in-demand on Disney+ are children’s programming, according to Parrot Analytics. Some of these Disney hits are in-house titles like DuckTales; others are licensed, like the truly delightful Australian cartoon Bluey.
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