Interesting times of late for our AVOD team! 2020 was the veritable rollercoaster; with fundamental changes in how we are able to promote and monetise content, and the broad impacts felt from the pandemic. In a complex year, to say the least, I am delighted how we at Aardman have come through it all, culminating in record views and watch-time resulting in our biggest ever audience reach.
The team achieved this by mobilising and responding to new demands; from creating YouTube craft content to inspire kids at home, distributing our key titles to new markets and new platforms worldwide, working with our brilliant international brand partners; all with the goal of reaching new audiences everywhere. Our titles go from strength to strength on digital platforms showing incredible engagement, and we are on track to grow further and set new heights this year.
Along with our own IP, we at Aardman pride ourselves as a ‘boutique’ distributor; curating content from select producers that fit with our core values, keeping a consistent rhythm of shows for us to present and pitch to our extensive list of partners around the world, and using our in-house expertise to grow YouTube channels. This careful, strategic catalogue management and selection allows us to give every property due focus across all platforms, territories and rights, to help brands thrive and realise their full potential on a global scale.
It has been a great week for one of those third-party produced shows, Jungle Beat from Sunrise Productions, a show we’ve distributed on YouTube for 3 years now. This week the channel surpassed the incredible milestone of 5 million subscribers! An amazing achievement, testament to the team at Sunrise for being so proactive in making consistently strong content for the channel, and my great Aardman/YouTube colleagues for the work that’s done behind the scenes to grow audience. Next stop – 10 millions subs!
More excitement this week as we started the YouTube journey for a new content partner, Lil Critter Workshop, by launching their fabulous preschool show Hogie the Globehopper – a fun preschool series about a curious frog who loves to explore the world and learn about different cultures. It’s funny, warm and enriching content; our team have been doing a great job developing materials (do checkout the thumbnails!) and we are confident the series will resonate with kids on YouTube.
AVOD is not all YouTube of course, and there are some compelling new platforms emerging in the space that we are starting to work with and see excellent traction in the UK, US, China and elsewhere. Look out for more announcements soon.
By continuing our selective approach to content partnerships, sticking to our values, syncing harmoniously with platform principles, and learning from audience data; 2021 is sure to be another great year.
Robin Gladman, Senior Distribution & Acquisitions Manager at Aardman, is primarily responsible for distribution of Aardman and third-party content on digital platforms working with global SVOD and AVOD services and many flagship TV content buyers around the world. Robin also manages the long-term content exploitation strategy across Asia.
In addition, Robin acquires third-party series and specials for distribution, and manages the roll out across a variety of media, currently representing a carefully curated portfolio of children’s properties.
With more than 15 years experience within the industry, Gladman specialises in strategic roll-out of kids and family content across multi-territories and platforms and has been instrumental in the studio’s expansion over the years.