NZ On Air and TVNZ today celebrate the first birthday of the ground-breaking children’s media platform HEIHEI.
Since May last year tamariki throughout Aotearoa have been able to enjoy a hugely diverse range of stories, songs, games and more made for them and reflecting them on a safe, ad-free platform.
HEIHEI is funded by NZ On Air and curated and managed by TVNZ for a target age group of 5-9 year olds. Available as a free website, app and on Chromecast, HEIHEI has captured the attention of children and parents, with results from Year One of operation exceeding targets.
Today HEIHEI contains 107 titles, of which 92 are locally made. Some international content is included so that children can enjoy a complete media experience in one place, giving parents confidence their children are in a safe space.
To date, HEIHEI has had 773,000 visits by 226,000 unique users. The app has been downloaded 92,000 times and the average session duration is 40 minutes. Eight of the top 10 titles on the platform are local, proving local children want and love local content.
“HEIHEI has been a very special project for NZ On Air. It was a bold move involving significant investment, but one we firmly believed was the right thing to do for tamariki. The Year One results show it is a very worthwhile investment and we are excited by future opportunities to continue to grow the service,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.
NZ On Air recently committed $1m to a pilot children’s multi-media news service Kea Kids which will be available both on HEIHEI and on Stuff. It is funded from the one-off additional $4m allocation in Budget 2018. HEIHEI has also this week launched captions for hearing impaired children.
TVNZ Director of Content, Cate Slater says, “We’re committed to local children’s programming and engaging with our youngest viewers in ways that feel meaningful to them. HEIHEI’s content is inspiring, funny and even educational. It’s a really special combination that’s contributed to its success. We’re so proud of what HEIHEI’s achieved in just 12 months and we’re excited to see the platform reach even more Kiwi kids in the years ahead.”
NZ On Air runs one specific funding round a year for new independently-made content for HEIHEI (in August/September).