Exclusive: HappyKids CEO talks about viewership growth amid COVID, extensive library and expansion plans

On 1 September, we reported about HappyKids, one of the leading and largest kids streaming platform adding 55,000+ kids series and movies. Now, racing to the top, the free OTT service has witnessed magnificent growth in viewership owing to the pandemic. Available worldwide across Connected TV, Smart TV, and mobile platforms, HappyKids enjoys most of its viewership from the US. 

In an exclusive chat with AnimationXpress, HappyKids CEO Vikrant Mathur revealed, “HappyKids is trusted by millions of parents as it provides a completely kid safe COPPA and CCPA compliant environment where kids can watch curated video content. It has experienced extensive growth over the past few years culminating with YoY users and watch time growth of over 150 per cent in 2020 with 40 per cent of that growth attributable to COVID-19.”

With the entire world engulfed by the Coronavirus outbreak, industries have been hit and school-colleges are shut since March. Children, homebound, having limited or no access to outside entertainment have relied on the screens for entertainment. 

Vikrant Mathur

“We have seen consumption go up across our channel due to COVID-19. As parents started looking for educational content to supplement their child’s learning, the challenge we faced was working quickly to curate our educational content while adding new partners. We also made sure the content was equally entertaining. In response to our audience needs, HappyKids enriched its educational content library by joining hands with Adventure2Learning. It has partnerships with over 25,000 schools and provides classroom learning from Pre-K through eighth grade,” mentioned Mathur. 

HappyKids has inked deals with over 350 global content partners spanning across both large and independent studios, toyco’s, and influencers. In the past year, the streamer has enriched its video library by adding 525 new episodes of kids’ favourite shows from premium content partners like LEGO, Mattel, SpinMaster, Moonbug, Pocket.watch, 9Story, Kidtagious and Millimages (recents). It streams serieses like Paw Patrol, LEGO Ninjago, Ryan & Friends, Barbie Dreamtopia, Guess How Much I Love You, SuperCard Buddyfight, and Molang, among others. 

Mathur further added, “We always look at the content from the audience perspective when looking at new acquisitions and partnerships. We focus on bringing both recognisable content that we know kids are watching as well as keeping an eye on new, diverse and entertaining content that is being produced around the globe. We provide both animated and live action content segmented by our audience age profiles so that parents can find content that pertains to their child. We have produced some content for our channel in the early learning preschool with sing-along songs with our latest show Hippy Hoppy.”

Happykids is also accessible in India and enjoys a considerable amount of viewership. However, when enquired, Mathur said that the streaming platform has no immediate plans to acquire Indian homegrown animated content yet. 

An AVoD platform, HappyKids is looking at partnerships with different companies for further expansion. “HappyKids is a kids safe free Ad supported channel. We have a direct sales team that works with all the major agencies and clients that are looking to reach kids in a COPPA safe environment. In terms of expansion, we are forging new partnerships with emerging platforms, the most recent being OTT linear channels with Vizio Smartcast,” commented he.

Despite trying times and its anticipated long lasting effects, Mathur is hopeful to see a more diverse range of characters and stories represented in the content that is available to kids globally.