New York-based animal video producer The Dodo is opening a new Dodo Kids division set to develop episodic animal content aimed at children 11 and younger. The videos will begin to roll out on YouTube in the spring.
The live-action documentary-style content will focus exclusively on animals. The Dodo’s editorial director, Ameena Schelling, told Kidscreen that its current content offerings appeal to both kids and their parents already, so branching out into kid-specific content is a natural next step. Some of the new content will be adapted from existing videos. However, the company is still exploring a variety of lengths and formats to find out what appeals most to kids.
Beyond launching on the Google-owned platform, The Dodo is looking at OTT distribution for its new content, and the company, which already has merchandise for adults, plans to expand into merchandising and book publishing for kids. The videos already reach so many parents, Schelling added, and many of them mention that watching Dodo videos is a family affair for them, it only makes sense to focus on creating products for kids.
The company confirmed that it has several projects currently in development, but nothing it is ready to announce.
According to the digital producer, its videos reach 75 million parents every month. Its YouTube channel has 3.4 million subscribers. Its most popular videos include, “Dog Yoga: Pup is Really Happy To Be in His Mom’s Yoga Workout” (pictured) with 117 million views, and “Dog Cries Every Time He’s Touched—Until He Meets This Woman” with 20 million views.
This will not be The Dodo’s first foray into working with other OTT platforms. New York-based digital media company Group Nine which owns The Dodo, sold its first series Dodo Heroes, to Animal Planet in 2017. The series was produced in association with Nomadica Films.
Group Nine was founded in October 2016 through a US$100 million investment from Discovery Communications. The creation of the company saw a portfolio of media brands including Thrillist, The Dodo, NowThis and Seeker rolled-up under one company.