Hannah Howell and Nicolas Eglau
Moonbug’s flagship series like "CoComelon" and "Blippi" are currently available on more than 150 video platforms and more than 100 audio platforms worldwide, but the global entertainment company is reassuring its commitment within the linear TV space. "We started with YouTube channels, but now we're also launching linear channels," asserted Nicolas Eglau, Managing Director of EMEA and APAC at the company. Moonbug’s branded 24/7 linear preschool kids’ channel is currently present in 78 countries across EMEA and APAC. In EMEA, the company is expanding its reach beyond the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and CEE countries. Whilst in APAC Moonbug’s footprint is expanding with new launches beyond its current presence in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Maldives and Mongolia. "Viewers can find our best shows on the channels," added Eglau.
SPIN-OFFS AND ORIGINALS
Following the success of hit shows such as "CoComelon" and "Blippi", the company has launched spin-off series, which allow the viewer to learn more about the worlds and characters of these beloved shows. "We see that there's a lot of demand from our viewers to dive a bit deeper into certain areas of our shows," Eglau explained. Recently, Moonbug has announced four "CoComelon" spin-offs. "We have 'Cody Time', which explores Cody’s family and environment a bit more," said Hannah Howell, Sales Support Manager, Distribution and Partnerships at the company. "We recently announced the launch of another CoComelon spin-off series called ‘Nina’s Familia’, which showcases stories of family, learning, positivity and healthy habits through the lens of a bilingual, multigenerational Mexican-American family.Additionally, we also have two other spin-off shows, 'Dance Party', focused on kids, friends, and families engaging with dance and songs, and 'Animal Time', which has JJ, CoComelon’s main character, dancing, singing and exploring worlds with his animal friends." This November, Moonbug’s Netflix Original Series ‘CoComelon Lane’ will also premiere, becoming the franchise’s first-ever dialogue driven series featuring the beloved CoComelon characters as they experience life’s big moments.
The company has also launched spin-offs of “Blippi”, including a 3D animated version called “Blippi Wonders”, which takes the character on new adventures with sidekicks TABBS and DBO. "We found that the popularity of live action shows varies depending on the preferences of the viewership in each market, and so we have built our content based on those preferences," indicated Eglau. The company also introduced Meekah, a female character that simultaneously joined the Blippi universe on YouTube, as well as on “Blippi’s Treehouse”, an Amazon original series that premiered in December 2021. "We really wanted to have a female character who shared Blippi’s sense of curiosity and could introduce kids to new ideas and perspectives. Spin-offs are a really important part of our strategy," he affirmed.
Moonbug's shows are really successful in part thanks to co-viewing. "We love being able to create experiences that both parents and children love," said Howell. "More than 50% of our views come from co-viewing, so it’s important that we consider the adults in a preschooler’s life when developing content, in order to create meaningful joint experiences," she added.
For Moonbug, first comes the global distribution and then consumer products strategies. "You have to ensure a presence in the market via your distribution strategy first, because you need to raise awareness of the properties. People need to know your brands, in order to then implement the consumer products strategy. Once you have generated an affinity with your properties, you create demand and people go to shops, as they want to buy a puzzle or a doll to connect with the characters," said Eglau. Moonbug’s consumer products first launched in the US, the UK and Australia. "Now we’ve started to expand to all the other markets. We are working with partners around the world; we have global and local partners and we are launching tailor-made products in each specific market," he added.
Always looking to innovate and rethink how it works with its partners, Moonbug recently announced a strategic global alliance with Spin Master. The partnership looks to maximize audience growth across a mix of product and content, encompassing licensing, content production and targeted media placement for some of Moonbug and Spin Master’s most iconic brands.
As part of a global strategy, Moonbug is creating events and experiences around their shows. For example, the company has had a "Blippi" production, which has toured the UK over the past year, as well as a "CoComelon" cinema experience last summer. "We showed the best 'CoComelon' episodes on the big screen and it was really successful. It run over the summer holidays across the UK and it proved to be a hit with both kids and parents," indicated Howell. "We want to have more touchpoints with our brands," added Eglau.
In order to reach a global kids audience, Moonbug tries to find universal topics that can resonate with every child in the world like brushing teeth, going to sleep, and the first day at school. "It's a challenge but I think we are good at that", Eglae asserted. "The challenge with creating content around these global topics is: How can you still be perceived as local?" he asked. One of the solutions is the localization of the content. "The next step of our evolution is going to be further localized content in more countries. It will take a little bit more time, a little bit more investment from us, and a deeper knowledge of the markets. We do see the value of localized content, and take that seriously," he affirmed. Part of that comes back to using real kids’ voices when dubbing the shows. "We are dubbing as much content as we can, because it's important to us to be a trusted partner for these regions, where English content has a lower penetration," explained Howell.