This Is Why HBO Really Wants Sesame Street
August 13, 2015 - accent chair
HBO is mostly famous for a eminent dramas like Game of Thrones and asocial comedies like Silicon Valley. But Thursday’s proclamation that a wire network is chartering 5 seasons’ value of long-lived kids’ favorite Sesame Street illustrates how badly a network needs children’s programming, too.
HBO will be a new first-stop home for Big Bird and co., with Sesame Workshop expanding their seasons from 18 episodes to 35. It will also furnish a spinoff array as good as a code new strange series. All a episodes of classical Sesame Street will continue to seem on open broadcaster PBS 9 months after their HBO debut.
Why does HBO wish Cookie Monster and Elmo so badly? It’s all about Internet-based TV. Though HBO is still primarily a wire network, a Sesame Street understanding is unequivocally about securing a channel’s destiny as a streaming destination. The newly launched HBO Now, that lets users buy HBO but a wire subscription, is competing directly with streaming mainstays like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. And those services figured out prolonged ago that hooking kids is pivotal to flourishing their subscriber bases.
In 2012, Netflix inked an estimated $300-million-per-year understanding for first-run rights to Disney cinema starting subsequent year, that will give a streaming use entrance to a trove of high-profile charcterised releases. In 2013, a association sealed a understanding with Dreamworks for 300 hours of strange kids’ programming. These efforts have already paid off. Last fall, Netflix pronounced that some-more than 75 of a kids’ shows had captivated some-more than 2 million viewers, with more than a dozen attracting during slightest 5 million viewers in a U.S.
Amazon has likewise done large investments in kids’ calm on Prime Instant Video. Half of a company’s strange programs are for kids, and a multiyear understanding for programming from Viacom was driven by Amazon’s enterprise for children’s shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. “The information shows that when we put constrained kids’ calm on a service, it helps us acquire some-more Prime members,” Brad Beale, a executive of calm merger for Amazon Digital Video, told TIME after that deal.
Kids’ shows are a plain investment for many reasons. Children tend to rewatch shows repeatedly, definition a use can get a lot of mileage out of a singular program. They also have no preconceptions about a “right” approach to watch TV. Sesame Workshop arch Jeff Dunn told a Wall Street Journal that two-thirds of a show’s child viewers initial see Sesame Street by a streaming use or video-on-demand now. Overall, kids aged dual to 11 are examination about 8 hours of Internet video per month in 2015, according to Nielsen, adult from 4.5 hours in early 2013.
By adding Sesame Street to a lineup, HBO is display it thinks a code interest can widen over adults longing premium, high-budget TV. With kids being such an essential partial of competing streaming service’s lineup, design some-more deals that interest to a youngest radio fans in a future.