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YouTube’s biggest kids show is about to take over streaming services

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Although The Umbrella Academy was all over Tumblr and people couldn’t seem to stop bingeing Cobra Kai and Lucifer, one of Netflix’s most-watched shows in August was a three-episode children’s program called Cocomelon.

Cocomelon, for those without children or younger siblings, is one of the most popular YouTube channels in the world with nearly 100 million subscribers. The studio creates videos for young children that star an array of animated characters singing lullabies and telling kid-friendly stories. Over the course of one month, Cocomelon’s videos garner more than 3.5 billion views — more than any other YouTube channel and more than several content providers like Netflix and Disney Plus combined, according to Bloomberg.

The entertainment channel is now the keystone of a strategy by its owner, Moonbug, to dominate the massive and rapidly changing children’s programming space. And so far, it appears to be working.

“Most of our shows have a big audience on YouTube,” Andy Yeatman, head of Moonbug’s US operations and a former Netflix executive, told The Verge. “In fact, we have the biggest audience on YouTube, but a key part of our strategy is to work with other platforms — and Netflix is a very important one.”

In June, three-hour-long Cocomelon videos debuted on Netflix for the first time, and they quickly became enormous hits. Cocomelon became the 10th most-watched show on streaming services in the United States (including Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video), racking up more than 336 million minutes during the last week of August, according to Nielsen, which ranks streaming shows by popularity weekly. It was the only show with less than 10 episodes to make the cut and the only show predominantly targeted at preschool-aged children. It has since been a constant on Netflix’s top trending row.

Although Nielsen’s ratings are sometimes contested by Netflix and only cover the US market, what’s clear from the inclusion is that YouTube’s biggest channel also works on other platforms. Moonbug announced that as of October 13th, Cocomelon was one of the three most-watched shows on the streaming service in the United States, according to the company.

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Moonbug formed in February 2018 and quickly bought up popular YouTube channels in an attempt to assemble a sort of next-generation streaming-focused kids network. It acquired popular names like My Magic Pet Morphle and Dr. Poppy’s Pet Rescue, and recently, it added Blippi, a popular children’s entertainer, and Cocomelon. Although the terms of Cocomelon’s purchase were not disclosed, the acquisition came alongside an additional $120 million in funding for Moonbug. When combined, Moonbug’s channels have 235 million subscribers and generate more than 7 billion views a month.

Moving into Netflix offers Moonbug the opportunity to find an untapped audience. YouTube and Netflix have routinely over the last couple of years ranked as the top two platforms kids ages five to 12 spend time on, with a recent study from Morning Consult finding that 65 percent of kids that age pick YouTube as their primary source of entertainment, and 55 percent pick Netflix. Their popularity may be contributing to a decline in traditional kids TV viewership, with Nickelodeon losing 44 percent of its overall viewership since 2015, according to a Forbes report.

Cocomelon and Netflix’s partnership seems fruitful for both parties. Around 60 percent of Netflix’s audience around the world is watching children and family-oriented content, Melissa Cobb, Netflix’s animation head, told The New York Times last year. Netflix is spending billions of dollars on building up its children’s programming library. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO, recently told Variety that Netflix is planning to release six animated films a year — more than Disney or any other competitor. The company eventually wants to have more original programming than licensed titles, but for the time being, it needs to license content — like Cocomelon — that complements its original programming, according to a person at Netflix familiar with the matter.

YouTube isn’t a direct competitor to Netflix as a subscription service on demand per se, but it is arguably the most serious competition Netflix has within the family entertainment realm. Reed Hastings, one of Netflix’s co-CEOs, told analysts last year during an earnings call that YouTube is one of Netflix’s biggest competitors for people’s attention in general.

Being on Netflix also helps alleviate one of the biggest issues Moonbug encounters with YouTube: ongoing concerns over children’s safety. YouTube has faced multiple reports over the last few years about disturbing children’s content and predatory behavior on its platform, forcing the company to roll out new policies and product updates to try to counter the behavior. Still, it hasn’t helped YouTube’s general image with parents, many of whom see YouTube as a site they don’t want their children — especially young children — to use. Moonbug is in “regular conversations with YouTube about their efforts to make it even more suitable for kids,” Yeatman said, but Moonbug doesn’t control YouTube.

“We do see that there are some families where YouTube is the go-to platform in their household,” Yeatman said. “And there’s some families that maybe don’t like their kids watching YouTube, and Netflix is their go to platform.”

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Other popular YouTube creators have found success partnering with more traditional networks and streamers. Nickelodeon partnered with Ryan’s Toy Reviews for a show, and HBO Max worked with Lauren Kobayashi Riihimaki, otherwise known as LaurDIY. It’s a trend that’s likely to continue, Amdocs vice president of media, network, and technology, and industry analyst, Anthony Goonetilleke said.

Streaming services need a plethora of content. And especially while production is shut down and harder to make, partnering with YouTubers or licensing their shows helps build these services’ catalogs. Plus, since YouTubers and popular YouTube channels already have built-in audiences, the goal is those fans will carry over to other streaming platforms.

“A big part of getting the most eyeballs is looking to the platforms holding the most attention,” Goonetilleke said. “A big part of that equation is YouTube.”

Moonbug is in a promising position right now. Production on many projects has slowed down or stalled completely, but Moonbug owns a number of properties — including Cocomelon — that can create new shows within their own smaller studios that are used to working on a faster timeline. Alongside Cocomelon on YouTube, Moonbug also brought its popular YouTube children’s show, Blippi, to Hulu. The goal is for Moonbug to be everywhere kids are and then eventually develop even bigger projects.

“We’re getting a lot of calls and having a lot of conversations about extensions, it’s very exciting, but we’re not rushing into anything yet.”

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

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Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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