3 AUG 2021

Tony Havelka: "Ameba pioneered the hybrid monetization model"

The CEO of the kids streaming platform explains the mixed SVOD and AVOD business model used by the company and details the main shows of its catalog.


Tony Havelka, CEO at Ameba TV


Ameba TV is a leading North American kids streaming platform led by Tony Havelka that provides an hybrid model for kids and their families. Havelka was exclusively interviewed by Señal News about this combined offer. 

How would you describe the current Ameba TV positioning in North America?

“Established in 2007, Ameba is the longest running streaming service devoted to children's content. Ameba’s highly curated catalog of over 13,000+ properties comprises over 2,500 hours of entertaining programs secured from top-tier providers from all over the world. Ameba pioneered the hybrid monetization model.  Ameba derives most of its revenue through Subscriptions (SVOD) and utilizes advertising offerings, both AVOD and Linear Streaming, as a free trial to promote subscriptions.  Ameba’s model is very profitable as subscription revenue provides a secure, steadily growing revenue stream with advertising channels driving subscriber growth.Ameba is available throughout Canada and the USA. Young audiences and their families can easily access Ameba on Smart TVs, Streaming Set Top Boxes, Mobile, Tablet, Web, Game Consoles and Amazon Prime Channels. Ameba’s linear streaming channels can be found on Xumo, the Roku Channel, Tivo and Vizio.  In 2019, Ameba became the first Canadian owned Children's Streaming service to become CAVCO approved.”

What differentiates Ameba TV from other kid’s platforms?

"Being primarily an SVOD, Ameba’s value revolves around the high quality of the content in our catalog, simplicity and safety of the apps, and providing an overall great viewing experience for our young audience and their parents to enjoy and trust. We have an extensive library of award-winning children’s content. We are always onboarding new providers from around the world. Our shows are continually being promoted (marketed) to our family of parents and their children to make sure programs they should be watching are always ‘top of mind’. Our partners, new and established, quickly see the benefits of expanding their programming reach to the Ameba audience, connecting with a whole new group of young viewers and finding an additional revenue source. Ameba offers a proven, highly successful revenue generating business model for our content partners.”

What are the highlight shows of its offer?

“Ameba is committed to featuring relevant programming from content providers to ensure that the audience has always something great to watch. Ameba has many different initiatives and ways of easily organizing content to make discovery easy. For example: movie weekends, themed series, music, comedies, sing-a-long, read-a-long and weekly selection of ‘picks’ highlighting a special selection of our programming line-up.”

What features has to be a show to be part of Ameba's catalogue?

Ameba is continuously on the look-out for new children’s programs with ‘evergreen’ themes. We have a great interest in adding high-quality stories designed for today’s children and future generations. We favor content from professional producers with stories that connect with the audience in both episodic and film formats. We tend to stay away from content that has a short life cycle like ‘clips’, kidfluencers, play alongs and other content focused on contemporary themes. They tend to burn hot and the audience's interest fades away quickly.”

 What are the main aims for this 2021?

“We always seek more content and to increase our selection of international programming while focusing on doubling our subscribers, like we do every year. We recently announced the addition of over 3,500 new programs to the Ameba catalogue. This large catalog expansion came from both new partners looking to tap into our audience as well as existing distribution partners that know our low-risk profitable business model. Top industry producers boosting their kids content, who have recently added more  of their programs  to Ameba’s streaming platform include Zeptolab’s “Om Nom” (615 episodes);  more Brightermoon’s movies (496 episodes and feature length films); Outfit7’s “Talking Tom” (adding more episodes-389 episodes) and Nelvana returned with more content, adding over 600 new episodes of programming to the platform. This contrasts with AVOD services that rely solely on advertising revenue.  These services are in the business of showing advertisements to children. The more ads kids  watch, the more revenue they can potentially generate. Their goal is to keep kids  watching so AVOD’s tend to favor short run content, interstitials and clips. This keeps the “ad load” as high as possible.  These services are subject to prevailing ad rates and fill rates that dramatically fluctuate throughout the year. AVOD’s focus is delivering ads to children, whereas SVOD’s focus on delivering value to the audience.”

By Romina Rodríguez

Our partners, new and established, quickly see the benefits of expanding their programming reach to the Ameba audience, connecting with a whole new group of young viewers and finding an additional revenue source” Tony Havelka CEO of Ameba TV