Wrapping its first year being rated by Nielsen, cabler Disney Junior has emerged the the most popular network among tots — while also being a boon to the Mouse House across numerous divisions.
The 24-hour channel had its highest-rated quarter to date in the first three months of 2014 (averaging 459,000 total viewers and 227,000 kids 2-5) and out-delivered Nick Jr. and Sprout by its largest margins yet in target demos, according to Nielsen total-day averages.
Disney Junior beat Nick Jr. by 41% in total viewers (459,000 vs. 326,000), by 46% in kids 2-5 (227,000 vs. 156,000), by 39% in girls 2-5 (111,000 vs. 80,000) and by 55% in boys 2-5 (116,000 vs. 75,000) — and it did this despite being in roughly 11.7 million fewer homes.
And the Disney net opened up triple-digit advantages over Sprout in key categories, more than tripling it in kids 2-5, boys 2-5 and girls 2-5, and nearly tripling it in total viewers (459,000 vs. 155,000).
The top programs on Disney Junior during the quarter were “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Sofia the First” (pictured).
In digital media, WATCH Disney Junior apps and services from Disney/ABC Television Group have been downloaded more than 20 million times and amassed over 1.6 billion starts — including over 23 million video starts for “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West” in the November 2013-January 2014 period prior to its linear TV premiere.
Disney has also effectively used its popular Disney Junior TV shows to create opportunities across the company, including Disney Parks & Resorts prominently featuring them in the “Disney Junior Live on Stage!” attraction at theme parks in California and Florida.
On the book front, over 1100 Disney Junior book titles are currently available from Disney Publishing. And New York Times bestseller “Sofia the First” app, released as an e-book, and “Sofia the First: Story Theater” app ranked as the No. 1 Kids iPad app on the App Store in 43 countries worldwide.
In music, Walt Disney Records has released popular soundtracks for Disney Junior series, with its soundtracks for “Sofia the First,” “Doc McStuffins” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” all debuting in the Top 5 on Soundscan’s Children’s Chart. Recent release “DJ Shuffle” is the first Disney Junior music compilation album and showcases the new Disney Junior anthem, “DJ Shuffle.”
Other tie-ins include the “Sofia the First” costume ranking No. 1 in sales at The Disney Story last Halloween. And more than 1 million “Doc McStuffins” ‘Doctor Bay Play Sets’ and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” ‘Bucky Ships’ have been sold to date.