Where do children’s DVDs stand amid an industry transformed by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Studios? L.A.-based distributor Cinedigm Home Entertainment, for one, is bullish on the kids DVD business. The company has grown its children’s DVD library by 25% year -over-year, and is looking for more licensed content – largely drawn from indie producer ranks – to bolster that number by another 25% in 2013.
Cinedigm is looking to significantly grow its home entertainment and digital business over the next year, particularly within the children’s space through increased distribution of both classic and new titles. The company’s home entertainment arm is now focused on re-releasing classic IP whose existing DVD licenses have lapsed and acquiring newer content. For example, in 2012, Cinedigm re-released Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus, which was distributed by Warner Bros. for the past seven years.
“In previous times, the kids DVD space has been dominated by major studios, so after the initial premiere, the studios don’t often focus on them as much. We stay with it and keep re-promoting and re-releasing,” says Mark Kashden, Cinedigm’s VP of acquisitions. Kashden says the company currently holds roughly 1,000 DVD episodes of children’s TV and movies.
“There aren’t a lot of categories that are still reliable performers, but we are seeing higher performance with kids content than with other content,” Kashden says. “The reason is perhaps parents are still finding convenience in buying DVDs for kids. Older kids are watching Netflix, but younger kids are still watching DVDs, and therefore the preschool market is still performing well.”
While Cinedigm has relied on re-launching classic properties and indie content, the company has also recently acquired the licenses for newer series like Totally Spies (Zodiak Kids), Yu Gi Oh (4K), Digimon (Toei) , Harry and his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs (CCI Releasing), H20 (ZDF) and Dance Academy (ZDF) and Jakers (Parthenon Media), among others.