Elmo loves iPads: Close to half of Sesame Workshop’s audience now uses mobile devices

Anyone with kids knows that the little ones really like touch screens — and anyone producing content for that audience is seeing that trend as well. Case in point: Close to half of Sesame Workshop’s audience is now using tablets or mobile phones to access clips starring Elmo, Big Bird and Abby Cadabby, according to Scott Chambers, the nonprofit’s SVP of global media distribution, who revealed that data point during a recent interview with Beet.tv.

Chambers called the growth of mobile viewing “one of the most dramatic changes we have seen in 44 years,” and likened it to the introduction of televisions to consumers some decades ago. He added:

“When touch screens came out, and were introduced to audiences, it was almost an instant change to the way we look at producing and distributing media.”

New distribution partners like Netflix (s NFLX) and YouTube (s GOOG) have also had a big impact on Sesame Workshop: Again, close to 50 percent of the audience accesses at least some of its content through these platforms, Chambers said.

Sesame Workshop has over 40 apps on various mobile platforms and was also one of the first major publishers to experiment with paid subscriptions on YouTube