Viacom banks on influencers for new slate

Internet stars Annie and Hayley LeBlanc, Jayden Bartels, Anthony Padilla and JoJo Siwa all got pickups or renewals at Viacom Digital Studio's NewFront presentation.
April 30, 2019

Nickelodeon is doubling down on influencers for its part in Viacom Digital Studio’s new slate, the kidcaster revealed at the NewFront presentation yesterday in New York.

New digital programming from the kidcaster includes Jayden’s Dance Throwdown, coming to YouTube this year, starring Jayden Bartels (660,000 subscribers) in a series of head-to-head dance-offs. There is also Throw Back with Nickelodeon on Facebook Watch this summer, starring Smosh’s Anthony Padilla (three million subscribers), as he waxes nostalgic with some of the biggest Nick stars from the past. Rounding out the digital content is SpongeBob Smart Pants Game Show on the SpongeBob YouTube channel and Facebook page this year. It is a digital game show where two superfans compete to win a trivia and stunt competition.

The renewed Nickelodeon digital content includes a second season of Annie vs. Hayley, which launched on YouTube this year and stars the LeBlanc sisters (with a collective 4.8 million subscribers), and season two of JoJo Siwa’s (9.6 million subscribers) animated JoJo and BowBow Show Show (pictured) on YouTube. The LeBlanc sister’s show was just picked up for its first season back in March as a four-episode baking challenge. Meanwhile, Siwa’s series was originally unveiled as part of Nick’s inaugural slate for Viacom Digital Studios last May.

Since VDS’ launch, Viacom brands’ social video views have grown by 83% and watch time by 119%, with a global average of four billion views and more than six billion minutes watched each month, according to the media conglom. In addition, Viacom is launching its flagship networks on free streaming TV service Pluto TV in the US on May 1. With the addition of Pluto TV, its digital video impressions is expected to grow to five billion per month by next year. The kid-branded channels will include Nick Pluto TV with classic shows All That, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fairly Odd Parents and iCarly; and Nick Jr. Pluto TV with Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer and WallyKazam.


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Alexandra Whyte is Kidscreen's News & Social Media Editor. Contact her at



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