Kidscreen has learned that Canada’s DHX Media is going to produce exclusive new Peanuts content for Apple’s soon-to-launch streaming service. Working closely with its subsidiary, Peanuts Worldwide, DHX Media will develop and produce original series, specials and shorts based on the classic characters created by Charles M. Schulz.
Under the new partnership, DHX is also planning to produce original short-form STEM content that will only be available on Apple’s new streamer, featuring Snoopy as an astronaut. Peanuts Worldwide and NASA recently signed a multi-year deal to create this content, but it wasn’t clear at the time where the shorts would land. The “Space Act Agreement” between the two entities is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 10 and NASA’s Moon missions.
Peanuts is a global character brand featuring Snoopy, Charlie Brown and a host of their equally iconic pals. Earlier this year, DHX announced that it was going to sell 49% of its 80% interest in the Peanuts brand to Sony Music Entertainment Japan for US$185.7 million. Now DHX owns 41% of the brand, while SMEJ holds 39%, and family members of Schulz still own 20%.
The brand continues to drive revenue for DHX. In its first financial report following the conclusion of a strategic review, the company reported revenue of US$78.6 million, driven by strong performances from its Peanuts brand and WildBrain AVOD network.
Even though it hasn’t actually launched its streaming service and has been very tight-lipped on the details, Apple started laying the groundwork for its first slate of original kids programming earlier this year with Sesame Workshop, which will make live-action, animated and puppet series for the California tech giant.