Leading ad-supported streaming media universe Future Today, with its flagship channels- FilmRise, Fawesome and HappyKids has been offering amazing contents making them market leader in the OTT consumer platforms. HappyKids, which offers more than 55,000 family-friendly movies, recorded a 225 per cent YoY user growth since September 2020 and over 300 per cent growth in watch time. It now streams nearly 25 million hours of content. The pandemic situation had pulled audiences to their platforms but normalisation didn’t really reverse the graph due to various factors that contributed to the growth story.
In an interview with AnimationXpress, Future Today kids & family SVP David Di Lorenzo revealed that one of the major factors of the tremendous growth is partnerships besides the inflated rise in viewership during the pandemic.
“There are several factors that have contributed to our growth. Like all platforms, we saw increased viewership due to the pandemic, but beyond that we have grown our viewership through partnerships which has helped us bring new top tier content onto our platform with partners like Lego, Mattel, Moonbug and Pocketwatch to name a few,” Lorenzo said.
With already attaining huge popularity on the two most popular AVOD apps – Roku and Amazon Fire Stick – the team aims to reach the top and secure that position.
“Our team is working hard to ensure that we bring a kid safe and fun experience for our audience. Through marketing, new content partnerships and future co-productions we will continue to bring a great experience to viewers across CTV devices. Beyond Roku and Fire Stick, we are also on the Xfinity platform, Cox Cable, Vizio, Samsung TV+, Apple TV, Android, and most recently Redbox. We are always looking at new platform partnerships as a way to increase our CTV reach for our advertising partners,” he said.
The viewership of HappyKids immensely rose since the beginning of the pandemic.
Asked if the growth was consistent or were there any flickers in the graph with lockdown restrictions being lifted and people adopting the new normal, the SVP commented, “Initially we saw a lift due to the pandemic, but what we have found is that the viewership on our network has continued to grow in both unique users and overall watch time which we attribute to the shift in consumer habits with more households continuing to move away from traditional cable towards more streaming along with the increase in our content offering.”
Regarding the ratio of animation and live action content on HappyKids contributing to the viewership, he said, “Currently I would say the mix is 65/35 animated to live action with the majority of our live action content coming via partnerships with talent from YouTube. In terms of viewers, I can confirm that our younger audiences lean more into animated series like Cocomelon, Paw Patrol and Cat in the Hat while our older audience tends to lean in to live action.”
Future Today recently partnered with eOne (Hasbro) that will add over 300 episodes of eOne content and nine movies from the eOne catalogue. The deal includes many of eOne‘s most popular brands and beloved series in family entertainment including My Little Pony, Jem & the Holograms, Transformers Prime & Rescue Bots and Ricky Zoom and more, which will be available to stream entirely free.
“We are excited to be working with eOne and will continue to bring more of their fantastic content to our audience. Beyond this partnership we are exploring new opportunities with several studios, YouTube influencers and new co-productions in 2022,” Lorenzo said, touching upon future collaborations.
The streaming giant has already tied-up with some prominent Indian content companies like ChuChuTV, Shemaroo and so on. Regarding further collaborations with production companies, he said, “There are so many great producers around the globe, and we are always looking to find new content partnerships, as well as looking at new ways to work with existing partners.”
Future Today delivers content to more than 100 million US households and has become one of the largest publishers of family-friendly content on streaming platforms. They boast of a carefully crafted content library. They also emphasize the creation of originals.
“I feel as though we are in one of the greatest periods in history for content development and there are so many talented individuals creating both animated and live action content for a global audience. For our network, we are always on the lookout for great well-known IP’s as well as finding new and interesting characters and formats.”
“We have our very successful early learning series Hippy Hoppy which we produced as well as some recent acquisitions from some European partnerships that are exclusive to our network. We have also co-produced original gaming content with partners like Tankee and will be looking to expand further into originals in 2022,” Lorenzo concluded.