DreamWorksTV Looking Beyond Ad-Supported Business Model

With more than 3.7 million “subscribers” streaming ad-supported myriad content, including 100 original programs on its YouTube channel, DreamWorksTV has been a hit for children ages 6-12.

Now, the platform is trying to expand the revenue potential (i.e. sustainability) by launching fee-based SVOD service through Amazon Channels.

The $4.99 monthly platform includes a free seven-day trial period for Amazon Prime members, which costs $99 per-year separately.

Original programs “Schneck & Eck Crack the Case,” “Action Figures in Action,” “Secret Agent Challenge,” and “Neighborhood Super Watch.”

The platform is the brainchild of AwesomenessTV, which was founded in 2012 and acquired by Comcast in 2016 as part of the DreamWorks Animation deal for $3.8 billion.

“As we continue to grow the DreamWorksTV brand, this is an exciting step for us to explore revenue streams and brand engagement across platforms,” Brik Rawlings, head of DreamWorks TV, said in a statement.

But transforming a viewer base predicated on free access to paying subscriber could be a challenge.

YouTube – the world’s largest video streaming service – launched $10 monthly SVOD service YouTube Red in 2015. To date, it has just 1.5 million paying subs, including another 1 million trial subs.

“While we don’t release or comment on speculative numbers, we’re seeing strong engagement of the service in the four countries we’ve launched, leading us to invest in more originals series and movies,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge in 2016.

YouTube TV Available on Roku Devices

Roku Inc. and YouTube Feb. 1 announced the availability of YouTube TV on select Roku devices, allowing Roku users to stream live sports, local and national news, and shows as they air on live TV.

For $35/month following a free trial, users can get access to live TV from nearly 50 networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, Disney Channel, ESPN, FX and Telemundo. Sports and premium networks such as SHOWTIME, Shudder, Sundance Now and Fox Soccer Plus are also available for an additional monthly charge.

“We are thrilled to bring YouTube TV to our customers,” said Tedd Cittadine, VP, Content Distribution, Roku. “YouTube TV connects Roku users with great live TV from major broadcast and popular cable networks in a channel built specifically for TVs.”

“The way people watch TV is ever-evolving, and expanding our reach through the Roku platform was a great fit,” said Christian Oestlien, product management director, YouTube TV.

Some additional YouTube TV features available on Roku include:

  • Cloud DVR with no storage limits;
  • A “library” tab that includes easy access to the shows viewers have recorded by browsing movies, shows, and events by new, most watched, and more;
  • A “home” tab with personalized recommendations, including top picks and resume watching (allowing users to easily pick up where they left off on another device when they get home);
  • A “live” tab with a full program guide to see what’s on now and what’s airing soon;
  • A background playback experience so viewers never miss the action while they browse the app;
  • And the ability to share with up to five other roommates or family members in the household with each member getting their own login, DVR, and personalized recommendations.

Currently, YouTube TV is available in more than 80 metro areas and is available in the Roku Channel Store.

Supported Roku devices include all Roku TVs, Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Streaming Stick (3800x, 3600x), Roku Express/Express+ (3910x, 3900x, 3710x, 3700x), Roku Premiere+, Roku Premiere, Roku 4, Roku 3 (4200x, 4230x) and Roku 2 (4210x).