Oddbods & Friends app gets OTT distribution

Future Today co-founder Vikrant Mathur breaks down why One Animation chose the advertising video-on-demand platform to launch a custom branded app.
October 3, 2019

One Animation’s complete content portfolio, including non-dialogue hit Oddbods (pictured), is now available in a custom branded app from American multiplatform video distributor Future Today.

Oddbods & Friends is a free, age-appropriate, ad-supported content offering for under nines featuring Emmy-nominated series Oddbods (41 x five minutes), preschool comedy Antiks (23 x two minutes), comedy-adventure Insectibles (52 x 11 minutes) and educational adventure series Rob the Robot (104 x 11 minutes).

Singapore-based One Animation first launched Oddbods & Friends as a global YouTube channel in 2018. The channel was also released on the YouTube Kids app. To date, Oddbods content has amassed more than 12 billion views on YouTube and the series airs in 180-plus countries on networks including Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Netflix and Amazon.

Now that One Animation’s properties are accessible in a customized app, Future Today co-founder Vikrant Mathur says the producer can not only expand the digital footprint of its shows even further via OTT distribution, it can also take advantage of Future Today’s existing kids audience, and marketing and monetization expertise.

“In the kids vertical, we manage more than 250 OTT channels (apps) through our platform and we also operate our own free, ad-supported kids and family channel, Happykids.tv,” says Mathur. “We have a sizable audience across the network already, which can be leveraged through things like cross-promotion and advertising to drive viewership to any new show or content that we feel will be successful.”

Overall, the California-based company has generated more than 60 million downloads across 700-plus channels, with kids and family as one of its largest segments.

It recently partnered with children’s content distributor NCircle Entertainment to launch a free app for Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV in the US called BusyBee TV. NCircle content featured in the app includes Cat in the Hat Knows a lot About That, Gumby, ABC Monsters and Munki & Trunk. Other new branded app launches include Yay Toons from Cyber Group Studios (Mini Ninjas, Mirette Investigates) and Talking Tom and Friends from Outfit7.

Additional companies taking advantage of AVOD opportunities in the kids space right now include UK-based KetchupTV and Viacom-owned PlutoTV. The former just partnered with Canada’s WildBrain to launch a Degrassi pop-up channel on mobile, web and connected streaming devices in the US and UK.

While Mathur won’t go so far as to call it a trend, he is seeing more AVOD activity in the industry.

“If I have a content library and am thinking of building a channel, I want that content to be available in as many different places as possible,” says Mathur. “It could mean traditional linear TV, SVOD platforms, branded apps on streaming devices or game consoles, or a branded channel on PlutoTV. The wider the distribution the better, and this includes YouTube as well. Obviously we’re all aware of YouTube’s recent issues (FTC settlement for allegedly violating children’s privacy law) but if it makes sense for you to be on YouTube then you should be there.”

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 jdickson@brunico.com.



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