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Inside Pocket.watch’s new YouTube slate

The digital company is building on the success of Ryan ToysReview with content for Marlin Ramsey Chan, the Onyx Family, EvanTube, JillianTube and HobbyKidsTV.
May 13, 2019

Pocket.watch is perhaps best known for taking Ryan ToysReview (a YouTube channel with 19 million subscribers) from YouTube to Nickelodeon with its new show Ryan’s Mystery Playdate. Now, the digital media company is expanding its stable of YouTube content with four new series and two new partnerships.

Pocket.watch is partnering with Marlin Ramsey Chan and the Onyx Family (pictured) to create a new channel and series, respectively. Additionally, Pocket.watch will also produce content for YouTube’s HobbyKidsTV, EvanTube and JillianTube.

For the Onyx Family (2.2 million subscribers), Pocket.watch is producing the 12 x seven-minute animated series Onyx Family Monster Mysteries. Billed as being Scooby Doo meets Ghostbusters, the show will be released on their channel in 2020 and sees the family run an island sanctuary for monsters. Currently, the YouTubers produce kid-friendly vlogs, challenges and giveaways.

The decision to work with the Onyx Family was inspired by the success of Ryan ToysReview, since it’s another channel that features a family playing together, says Pocket.watch CCO Albie Hecht.

Marlin Ramsey Chan (3.3 million subscribers), meanwhile, is teaming up with the company to create MarMar Land, a new children’s YouTube channel featuring animated and live-action content focused on teaching kids about problem solving. Set to launch in July, two to three videos will be posted every week. The 25-year-old’s current content includes kid-friendly cooking, DIY videos, and challenges.

“We believe that launching these new series, and MarMar Land, on YouTube allows us to reach the widest possible audience, and to gather data that is more difficult to get on traditional TV,” says Pocket.watch CEO Chris Williams. “Because these YouTubers reach such big audiences they can easily see success with consumer products, games and books.”

Ahead of this new partner content, Pocket.watch is launching Hobby Kids Adventures! on YouTube on June 22. The 12 x seven-minute animated comedy-adventure features the three brothers from HobbyKidsTV (3.4 million subscribers). Created by Butch Hartman (Fairly Odd Parents, Danny Phantom), the series will follow animated animal versions of the young YouTubers as they travel across time and space. HobbyKidsTV was the first channel to partner with Pocket.watch in 2017. Following that deal, Hartman signed a three-year non-exclusive deal with Pocket.watch to develop a trio of shows featuring the Hobby Kids.

The digital media company is also capitalizing on its previously signed partnership with EvanTubeHD (6.2 million subscribers) to create EvanTube’s Dollar Toy Squad. Launching in Q4, the live-action/stop-motion animated series (12 x 11 minutes) follows 13-year-old Evan and his sister Jillian as they receive a mystery box every week containing plastic toys that thwart the plans of evil toys.

Jillian won’t be sequestered to her brother’s videos though, as the 10-year-old face of JillianTubeHD (1.4 million subscribers) is working with Pocket.watch on Jillian’s Mystery Box of Crafts. A mix between Chopped Jr. and Project Runway, the 12 x 11-minute live-action series has Jillian create DIY projects with a basket of mystery items, and is set to debut on her channel in Q4.

Pocket.watch is producing all of the series and new channel content. The company declined to share any details on the budgets, but it put a “significant” investment into all of the content, according to Williams.

“We’re not shying away from animation,” says Hecht. “We’re building our own in-house animation studio to give us more scale and resources to drive these series.”

Eventually, Pocket.watch aims to move the content to linear and other digital platforms, as it did with with Ryan, says Williams. However, he declined to give any specific details on where the content will go or when it will move beyond YouTube.

About The Author
Online writer for Kidscreen. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at rtuchow@brunico.com

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