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ReelKids breaks broadband ground with new VOD service

The first broadband network to marry DVD quality with point and click streaming technology is launching a kid's portal and is looking for content to stock its catalogue.
October 1, 2006

The first broadband network to marry DVD quality with point and click streaming technology is launching a kid’s portal and is looking for content to stock its catalogue.

Seattle-based ReelTime Rentals will initially offer its kid’s programming through its main portal reeltime.com, but in the coming months its branching out with a kids-specific site, ReelKids TV.

‘The market is exploding especially for young adults,’ says Beverly Zaslow, VP of acquisitions and business development, adding that it’s second nature for the younger generation to look to the computer first for entertainment. ‘They don’t wake up in the morning and turn on the TV; they wake up and turn on their computers.’

The company has already secured a number of acquisitions. The deals are based upon a revenue sharing model, and include titles from PorchLight Entertainment such as The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello and Doodlez. ReelTime has also secured the rights to Toronto, Canada-based CCI and Cellar Door’s Eckhart – an animated series about a little mouse who grows up on a magical island – that will make its U.S. premiere on the broadband network.

Zaslow is still very much in the acquisition mode; but she believes the future success of ReelKids hinges on the delivery method more than the content.

‘Everybody understands that this is a burgeoning area and they are saying now is the time to jump in,’ she says. Broadband players, she adds, will most likely all end up featuring the same content ‘because all the studios know that this is the future.’

Zaslow believes ReelTime’s advantage lies in its peer-to-peer file sharing technology and point and click accessibility. Unlike other broadband networks, ReelTime relies on users sharing files as they watch them on their computers or via a TV connected to a computer, and not on bandwidth capacity.

‘As the other companies become more successful they are going to have to purchase more and more bandwidth, that is costly,’ she says. ‘For us, it is limitless.’

The service has been set up with a subscription-based revenue model, membership costing US$9.99 per month (half price for the first month) and specific titles selling for anywhere from US$.99 and up. ReelKids is expected to launch in Q2 2007. GR

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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