Amid a rise in viewership, AVOD Kidoodle.TV is expanding into original programming to reach more families and better connect with audiences, says chief content officer Brenda Bisner.
The platform is up to 150,000 new users per day and has focused on steadily building its catalogue with licensed content in recent years. Its library currently contains more than 20,000 episodes of TV for kids under 12, including programming from companies such as ABC Australia, Hoho Entertainment, CAKE, Zodiak Kids and Omnia Media.
Now Kidoodle is expanding into making original content, in order to retain its growing user base. “Kids want inspiring and interactive content, and launching originals is our way to make something different for families,” says Bisner.
The first original on the AVOD’s slate is live-action musical series StoryRaps (pictured), in which performer Wes Tank raps classic story books including Three Little Pigs, Wesley at the Bat, Goldielocks and the Three Bears, Wynken, Blynken & Nod and A Nonsense Alphabet. The videos vary in length depending on the story, but they are usually under 10 minutes long, and all episodes will be available exclusively on Kidoodle.TV. The first six have already launched, and three new videos will be released each month for the next year.
The unique format and the popularity of Tank’s previous videos on YouTube (a clip of him rapping Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax to Dr. Dre beats went viral and got picked up by news outlets like TMJ4 News) helped Bisner make the decision for StoryRaps to be Kidoodle’s first original, she says.
Storyraps is just the beginning for Kidoodle.TV, which wants to grow with more original content. The series’ core themes of music, movement and inspiring kids to read—as well as giving parents a fresh alternative to classic storybooks—make it a good fit for the AVOD, says Bisner. For creators looking to pitch content, one of the key elements she’s looking for is proof, possibly through existing audience numbers or trend research, that an idea will resonate with kids.
Kidoodle is not an animation studio or prodco, so Bisner is not looking to co-produce or provide gap financing on projects; instead, she wants to work with creatives who have the resources to make a series themselves. The platform will commission new content, while also supporting projects with marketing efforts.
Bisner is open to a variety of kids programming, as long as it’s exclusive to the AVOD, and she is especially interested in projects that feature music, movement and mindfulness. All of the content Kidoodle orders has to appeal to a co-viewing audience, and for that reason she’s attracted to formats like kids cooking shows and competition series, which play well with both kids and parents.
Bisner is not looking to pick up feature films, and wants shows and formats with shorter episode lengths. Live-action content is at the top of her list because of it’s speed to market, but she’s also interested in animated pitches.
“I’m not looking to make the next million-dollar series,” says Bisner. “We’re a tech company, so we’ve always been tracking trends and working to create a safe space for kids. And with originals, our goal is to make inspiring and interactive family-oriented content that can target multiple cultures and reach kids where they are.”