Kids’ TV network Nickelodeon will soon take its shows directly to consumers with the launch of a subscription streaming service in March, according to comments made by Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman on the company’s earnings call on Thursday. The move to bring the children’s programming directly to consumers – outside of top streaming players like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu – follows similar efforts from CBS, which launched its own streaming service in late 2014. HBO is also poised to announce a standalone version of its HBO GO service in 2015.
Like CBS and HBO GO’s forthcoming services, Nickelodeon will not require households to subscribe to a cable or satellite TV subscription in order to use its new subscription product.
In addition, the service will not be branded as “Nickelodeon,” the company said, but will target young viewers with its own unique brand. The company didn’t detail what content the service would include, or how much it will cost, but Dauman described the new service as being “very attractive for parents and children.”
“We want to satisfy the demand that is coming from the viewers out there,” he said, noting also that the service would be aimed at consumers who use mobile devices. “They want more programming. They have an insatiable appetite for great content. They want to view that content on every device that they own.”
Nickelodeon today already has a number of mobile apps on the app stores, including the Nick Jr. app, which currently includes full episodes of favorite TV shows along with other interactive content. Many of the episodes can be streamed for free, without advertising, while others are made available by authenticating with the credentials from a TV provider. It’s unclear at this time how the new service will affect this current property or its content.
That Nick Jr. app today is very popular, however, ranked No. 2 in a couple of “Kids” categories on the iTunes App Store, and No. 8 in the “Education” category, as well as No. 119 “Overall.”
Viacom says it will reveal more details about the streaming service and its branding at its “upfront” meetings with advertisers next month.
The company already has a streaming deal with Amazon for some of its Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. content. In June 2013, Viacom signed a “multi-year” agreement that brought top kids’ shows including like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans, Fairly Odd Parents, Fresh Beat Band, Team Umizoomi, Blue’s Clues, iCarly, Victorious, and more to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service.
This quarter, Viacom also expanded and renewed its deal with Hulu, it said. Hulu says that a few Nickelodeon series were added in the expanded agreement, including Invader Zim, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Drake & Josh and Hey Arnold!.