The first year of the Barn14 partnership (B14), the Nordic partners’ joint collaboration on children’s drama, has seen no fewer than 24 separate children’s series.
The result is evidence of what we have always known: That we are stronger together.Christoffer Forssell, Svenska Yle
Nordic children’s content has a tradition of taking children seriously, dealing with matters that are important to children and their development, inspiring them to play, and providing them with knowledge and insight. While global streaming services continue to win ground in the battle for children’s attention, DR, NRK, SVT and Swedish Yle decided, in 2020, under the name B14, to strengthen their cooperation in order to maintain these traditions and at the same time develop new, relevant, quality content for children.
That is why Christoffer Forssell, head of programme acquisitions and Nordic collaboration with Swedish Yle welcomes the impressive outcome:
“This result is evidence of what we’ve always known: That we are stronger together. We have a valuable Nordic commonality, where our public service background, our judgements and our cultures are all familiar to our viewers. At the same time, children’s series from the different countries always bring something new and exciting to our audiences.”
Remarkably good content from all partners
At NRK Super, Publishing Manager for children’s content Joakim Vedeler is equally happy with the 2021 result:
“We’re delighted that 2021 has been a record year for children’s content at Nordvision. Given today’s competition, with big international players challenging local broadcasters, it’s important the providers stand as one and work to help one another regardless of national borders,” he says, highlighting three series in particular that he considers remarkably good.
“Those are SVT’s series Stopp and T-Rex, as well as Akavet from DR. Akavet fulfils a vitally important need, also for NRK, to boost the amount of relevant content for 12 to 14-year-olds,” Joakim Vedeler points out.
Local flavour and quantity are more important than ever
At DR, it is also evident that Morten Skov, head of children’s content, is delighted:
“The way international competition in children’s content is at the moment, all public service media face challenges – not just to keep up with the amount of content – but also to have a local flavour. Our competitors have now started to invest in local content as well, so we’re not unique in that. That’s why it’s very impressive that we’re able to release so much Nordic content every year.”
Morten Skov points in particular to NRK’s series of programmes for very young viewers, Minibarna, which he believes has been a huge success in the Nordic countries, and Stopp from SVT as examples of children’s programmes that really stand out.
At SVT, this year has given rise to further ideas beyond this excellent result. For Safa Safiyari, head of SVT’s children’s channel, the Nordic partnership is above all about sharing professional knowledge:
By far the most unique thing about the Nordvision partnership is this huge generosity.Safa Safiyari, SVT
“For many years, we have gained a great deal from sharing strategies, tactics and ideas with each other. By far the most unique thing about the Nordvision partnership is this huge generosity. I hope that will continue into the future,” says Safa Safiyari.
DR’s Morten Skov is of exactly the same mind. For him, some of the greatest value of the current children’s collaboration lies in the ability to help and inspire each other across all target age groups and genres. He specifically mentions help given by NRK around a year ago, when DR launched a children’s world for their youngest viewers, aged 1 to 3.
“The way I see it, we couldn’t have done it so well without NRK Super’s extensive preparations and the professional dialogue we had with NRK.”
Facts about the Nordic Children’s collaboration
DR, NRK, SVT and Swedish Yle co-produced a total of 24 new children’s drama series in 2021. As a whole, the collaboration has generated 1,362 programme episodes, which amounts to 272 hours of Nordic children’s dramas.