On the heels of its groundbreaking subscription deal with HBO, Sesame Workshop has announced a collaboration with Chinese digital platforms iQIYI, Tencent Video and Alibaba’s Tmall Box, which will all stream international version of Sesame Street along with other spinoffs.
Sesame Workshop will provide the content, all dubbed into Mandarin, over the next two years.
A Sesame Street-branded block is set for Baidu-owned iQIYI, where audiences will have access to the programs as well as the history, mission, character bios and latest news from the nearly 50-year-old preschool brand. iQIYI will work with the Workshop to bring more experiences to the market both online and offline with promotions and special events, and the two parties have also been in talks about expanding into Greater China.
Tencent Video, the online video platform of social media platform Tencent, which just collaborated with Disney on a Star Wars-branded hub, will be the first video site in China to digitally release Elmo the Musical and The Furchester Hotel, a co-production between Sesame Workshop and CBeebies that debuted last year. (The Furchester Hotel is among the latest programming the Workshop has recently made available to the rapidly growing online video market in China.) Other titles to be streamed via Tencent Video include Sesame Street Seasons, Elmo’s World, Play With Me, and Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year, a special program co-produced with China Central Television (CCTV).
The same content will also be available on Alibaba Group’s VOD service, currently transmitted via Tmall Box, a content delivery set-top-box. The VOD service of Alibaba Group offers a wide variety of entertainment content including movies, television series, documentaries and children’s shows, as well as online shopping.
In January, new SVOD service YOU Kids On Demand launched in China for cable and IPTV, offering premium kids programming from Sesame along with HIT and Nelvana Enterprises, as well as preschool-skewing educational content. Last year, the Workshop signed a video streaming deal in the territory with BesTV, the largest IPTV platform in China.