Kidscreen unveils its Hot50 companies for 2018

Netflix (pictured), YouTube Kids and 9 Story Media Group/Brown Bag Films all reclaimed their top spots in the Kidscreen Hot50. See who else made the rankings this year.
December 17, 2018

The maturation of streaming services had a major impact on Kidscreen’s fifth-annual Hot50 ranking of the most happening companies in kids entertainment—as determined by industry peers.

Netflix stayed put in the Broadcasting top spot for the fifth-consecutive year on the strength of launching more than 65 new original TV and film titles in 2018. The SVOD giant also received the most kid-friendly Daytime Emmy nominations this year and ended up walking off with eight statuettes, including double wins for All Hail King Julien: Exiled (pictured) and Dinotrux with longtime partner DreamWorks Animation Television.

The streamer also made a strong debut in the Hot50 Production category, settling into second place behind Toronto, Canada’s 9 Story Media Group/Brown Bag Films, which was victorious for a second year in a row. 9 Story grew significantly this year, acquiring New York-based Out of the Blue Enterprises and appointing co-founder Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues) as its first chief creative officer. Clifford the Big Red Dog (Scholastic/PBS KIDS/Amazon) and a second season of The Magic School Bus Rides Again (Scholastic/Netflix) were among 9 Story’s 10 greenlights this year.

Amazon Studios (Pete the Cat, Do, Re & Mi) also returned to the Production top 10 after winning the title two years ago, and US streamer Hulu was voted into the Broadcasting top 10 for the first time in a year when the service inked its largest-ever kids and family licensing deal with DreamWorks Animation.

In other firsts, Canadian toyco Spin Master took the Licensing top spot away from four-time winner The LEGO Group, and 9 Story Distribution International usurped 2017 champ CAKE in Distribution.

Meanwhile, in Digital, YouTube Kids racked up its third-consecutive win, besting PBS KIDS and Hot50 first-timer WildBrain. Other newbies to the ranking this year include Parisian prodco Technicolor Animation Productions, Bento Box’s kids and family division Sutikki, Florida-based toyco Jazwares and “Baby Shark” creator Pinkfong.

Here’s the complete list of this year’s Hot50 companies:

1. Netflix
3. Nickelodeon
4. BBC Children’s
5. Cartoon Network
6. TVOKids
7. Disney Channels Worldwide
8. Universal Kids
9. Hulu
10. France Télévisions

1. 9 Story Media Group/Brown Bag Films
2. Netflix
3. Guru Studio
4. Sinking Ship Entertainment
5. Amazon Studios
6. The LEGO Group
7. Cartoon Network
8. Technicolor Animation Productions
9. DreamWorks Animation Television
10. Sesame Workshop

1. 9 Story Distribution International
3. Jetpack Distribution
4. Entertainment One
5. Aardman Animations
6. DHX Media
7. The LEGO Group
8. Zodiak Kids
9. Sinking Ship Entertainment
10. Sesame Workshop

1. Spin Master
2. The LEGO Group
3. Entertainment One
4. Hasbro
6. Sesame Workshop
7. Moose Toys
8. Sutikki
9. Cartoon Network Enterprises
10. Jazwares

1. YouTube Kids
3. WildBrain
4. Cartoon Network
5. Pinkfong
6. Sinking Ship Entertainment
7. BBC Studios
8. Sesame Workshop
9. Hopster
10. National Geographic Kids

The number one-ranked companies will each receive a commemorative trophy at the Kidscreen Awards ceremony, which will take place during Kidscreen Summit 2019 (February 11 to 14 in Miami, Florida).

Additionally, all Hot50 2018 companies will be showcased on Kidscreen’s dedicated microsite starting today, and in a special print insert that will be distributed with Kidscreen‘s February/March issue at Kidscreen Summit.

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at



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