L.O.L. Surprise unwraps an OTT strategy

The toy driving growth in the doll category is getting airtime on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
April 2, 2019

MGA Entertainment is expanding its original L.O.L. Surprise! digital content beyond YouTube to a number of global OTT channels. The toyco partnered with London-based kidtech company SuperAwesome and California-based video technology and distribution company Future Today to launch the collectible brand’s content on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire starting April 1.

More than 60 videos, including three seasons of Unboxed and behind-the-scenes footage, will be available through the OTT channels with new content uploaded every Thursday. The brand’s YouTube channel boasts 993,000 subscribers and more than 334 million views.

SuperAwesome’s tools (including its REX ad filter and Kids Web Services parent authentication) will ensure the brand’s OTT content is COPPA-compliant, while Future Today works to distribute and monetize content by creating custom branded channels on platforms like Roku and Amazon Fire.

The expansion onto OTT platforms comes as L.O.L. Surprise! continues to drive growth for both MGA Entertainment and the toy industry overall. According to market research firm The NPD Group, the doll segment was one of the fastest-growing categories both in the US and globally in 2017 (up 5%), due in large part to L.O.L. Surprise!. Even though the overall US toy industry saw sales drop 2% in 2018, the doll category reported a 7% increase. In fact, eight of the 10 top-selling traditional toy items of 2018 were L.O.L. Surprise! products.

Earlier this year, L.O.L. Surprise! took home the top honor at the annual US Toy of the Year Awards, with MGA also claiming Doll of the Year for L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps and Playset Toy of the Year for L.O.L. Surprise! Home.

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