Kids YouTube Channel CoComelon Available on Roku Channel

Kids YouTube channel CoComelon is now available on The Roku Channel, Roku and Treasure Studio announced.

The channel offers a selection of children’s songs and videos that help preschoolers learn letters, numbers, animal sounds, colors and more. Available through the Kids & Family experience on The Roku Channel, the launch marks the first time CoComelon programming will be available outside of YouTube.

“At CoComelon, we’re driven by being able to engage families with entertaining and educational content that makes universally relatable preschool moments fun,” Jay Jeon, creator/founder of Treasure Studio, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to launch with Roku today to make our popular programming available to Roku fans everywhere. Roku shares our deep commitment to creating positive content environments for children and brings a unique ability to engage and promote programming to audiences especially within The Roku Channel. This partnership is an important component of our strategy to be everywhere our audience is today.”

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“CoComelon is beloved by tens of millions of children around the world and is a natural fit for our growing selection of content available to the millions of families who are increasingly turning to The Roku Channel every day for both entertainment and educational content,” Rob Holmes, Roku VP of programming and engagement, said in a statement. “CoComelon joins a robust line-up of children’s programming within our Kids & Family experience and we could not be more excited to welcome their incredible streaming content to The Roku Channel.”

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CoComelon videos include “Bath Song,” “Yes, Yes Vegetables,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” “Wheels on the Bus,” and “Baby Shark Submarine,” which have amassed billions of views.

Kids & Family on The Roku Channel, which launched last fall, offers more than 20,000 TV episodes and movies.

YouTube Ups Q1 Revenue by $1 Billion

Google-owned YouTube continues to reign as the Internet’s top over-the-top video platform, generating more than $4 billion in first-quarter (ended March 31) ad-revenue. The tally topped the previous-year period that generated more than $3 billion.

YouTube revenue does not include the brand’s $50 monthly online TV platform, YouTube TV.

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Overall, Google parent Alphabet reported revenue of more than $41.15 billion, compared with revenue of $36.33 billion in the previous-year period.

Regardless, CFO Ruth Porat cautioned that while the company’s performance was strong during the first two months of the quarter, March experienced a significant slowdown in ad revenue due in large part to COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are sharpening our focus on executing more efficiently, while continuing to invest in our long-term opportunities,” Porat said in an April 28 statement.

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Lionsgate Teams With Fandango and YouTube on Free Streamed Movies Benefit

Lionsgate is presenting “Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies,” a program of four Fridays of free movies streaming live on YouTube hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis, to help benefit theater employees furloughed by the COVID-19 crisis.

The studio is mounting the campaign to “honor the communal experience of watching movies in movie theaters and support the people who make those places great with a special program that reminds everyone how much we love going to the cinema,” according to a Lionsgate press release.

Beginning Friday, April 17, and continuing every Friday spanning four consecutive weeks, the studio will team with Fandango and YouTube to livestream four of Lionsgate’s most popular library titles — The Hunger Games, Dirty Dancing, La La Land and John Wick — on Lionsgate’s YouTube page and Fandango’s Movieclips YouTube page.

Host Curtis will share her own movie memories as she is joined by special guest celebrities and YouTube personalities, according to the release. Each week’s night at the movies will feature programming and interactive opportunities for fans, such as real-time fan chats via YouTube Live, live tweeting @Lionsgate and partners, and shared fan engagement opportunities in-show, including movie trivia and movie-themed challenges.

Lionsgate’s initial donation as well as audience and partner donations throughout the event will benefit the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping workers throughout the motion picture industry. The event will link to the Foundation’s charitable page so that viewers can donate. The Will Rogers Foundation is currently providing financial assistance to theater employees furloughed by the COVID-19 crisis.

The schedule of free movies that will livestream Fridays at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST is as follows: The Hunger Games April 17, Dirty Dancing April 24, La La Land May 1 and John Wick (age registration required) May 8.

To present the live movie event, in addition to Fandango Lionsgate is joining with exhibition partners such as the National Association of Theatre Owners, AMC Theatres, Regal and Cinemark Theatres, among other regional circuits.

Popcornopolis, purveyors of gourmet popcorn, will support the event with a consumer movie night offer, with 10% of sales donated to the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. SnackNation will curate a movie-themed snack box with a special price and free shipping.

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“There’s nothing that will replace the magic of seeing a movie together with your fellow moviegoers in a theater on a big screen, but this is a chance for America to come together to recreate the experience,” said Joe Drake, chairman, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, in a statement. “This is a great chance to show the country’s theatrical employees how much we miss going to their theaters and how much we support them. Jamie Lee Curtis — a woman who literally grew up with the movies and movie theaters — is one of the world’s biggest movie fans, so it’s a real thrill that she’ll be our host for this event. Let’s have some fun watching some classic movies together at home while celebrating moviegoing!”

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“Throughout the 125-year history of the cinema, this is the first time that movie theaters have been shut down across the country,” said John Fithian, president and CEO, National Association of Theatre Owners, in a statement. “Whether it was the Depression, wars, disasters, or local calamities, movie theaters have always been a gathering place where audiences can come together to laugh and be moved, reacting as one, to put their troubles behind them or forget about their hard week at work, and just get lost in the amazing stories on the big screen. Until we can gather again in our nation’s theaters, we’re grateful to Lionsgate for honoring the theatrical moviegoing experience and we are thrilled to join together with them over these next four Fridays, not only to see four classic movies for free, but also to allow fans and celebrities to share their own moviegoing memories. We love that so many people will be talking about what makes going to the movies so unique and memorable.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment Launches YouTube Channel Aimed at Kids

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) April 7 announced launch of a new YouTube Channel, Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone, with a variety of interactive fun, physical movement, learning, and hands-on activities.

Sony Pictures says its Kids Zone is curated with a wide range of activities that will support families coping with school closures, new work-from-home routines and social distancing.

“A significant portion of Sony Pictures’ workforce is made up of working parents,” said Lexine Wong, senior EVP of worldwide marketing. “The idea of Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone was born from parents on our own team adjusting to working from home and managing home schooling.

“We are proud to offer this resource to help families navigate these new and challenging circumstances, while hopefully having a little fun in the process.”

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Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone will feature content from Sony Pictures Animation as well as SPE’s catalog of live-action programming.  Viewers can enjoy content from movies such as Peter Rabbit,  “The Angry Birds Movie” series, the “Hotel Transylvania” franchise, Center Stage: On Pointe, the “Swan Princess” series and more.

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Launch content includes:

  • Peter Rabbit “Make Your Own McGregor Garden,” with tips for kids on how to grow their own vegetables and other plants as well as related crafts.
  • The Angry Birds 2 “Bird Watching,” taking kids on a virtual trip to the Los Angeles Zoo for an up-close look at eagles, blue birds, toucans and other birds.
  • Hotel Transylvania 3 “It’s Party Time,” by Joe Jonas Lyric Video.
  • Center Stage: On Pointe “Dance Tutorial with Chloe,” with dancer and actress Chloe Lukasiak and choreographer Monica Proenca teaching fans “Gwen’s” full audition piece from the film.
  • The Star “There’s No Me Without You” sing-along with Bo and friends.
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village, a “Learn to Draw with Brainy Smurf” tutorial.
  • Zathura “Motion Storybook,” read by author Chris Van Allsburg.

 

Report: Disney+ Tops App Download Chart in U.S., Netflix Globally in 2020

Disney+, which launched Nov. 12 in the United States, posted the top number of app downloads domestically while Netflix was No. 1 in app downloads globally in the first three months of 2020.

That’s according to a study by Apptopia and Braze.

Disney+ scored 14.1 million app downloads domestically while No. 2 Netflix tallied 11.9 million and No. 3 Hulu racked up 8.1 million. Globally, Netflix with 59.1 million downloads was followed by YouTube with 39.4 million and Amazon Prime Video with 27.1 million. In Europe, Netflix also ruled with 14 million downloads, followed by Amazon Prime Video with 6.6 million and YouTube with 5.8 million.

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As far as the top streaming apps by time spent in the app, YouTube Kids ruled everywhere — globally, in Europe and domestically. Coming in at No. 2 in all territories was Netflix with YouTube at No. 3. Amazon Prime Video was No. 4 globally and in Europe, while Disney+ landed at No. 4 domestically, No. 6 globally and No. 7 in Europe.

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As the coronavirus pandemic hit, March saw a 30.7% increase in streaming sessions, according to the report.

Universal Launches Free YouTube Channel ‘The Shows Must Go On’ Featuring Musical Theater

Universal Pictures on April 2 announced the new “The Shows Must Go On” YouTube Channel, providing live theater fans with a West End and Broadway experience in their own homes online for free.

Starting April 3, the channel will make available a selection of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals, launching with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. The 2000 adaptation, inspired by the West End production, stars Donny Osmond, Maria Friedman, Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins.

Each show will be available weekly at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET for a limited 48-hour period online.

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On Good Friday, April 10, the channel will bow a second production, Jesus Christ Superstar (2012), the arena production starring Tim Minchin, Melanie C and Chris Moyles.

Further shows will be announced at a later date.

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Alongside full-length shows, clips of famous performances and behind-the-scenes footage will be uploaded regularly to the channel.

For fans who wish to make a charitable donation, a variety of organizations will be listed on the channel videos, including Acting for Others, Broadway Cares and Actors Benevolent Fund.

The initiative comes from the Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group, a London-based “repertoire centre” of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment that acquires and produces multi-genre entertainment for distribution across theatrical, home entertainment, television and digital platforms on a worldwide basis.

YouTube Offering At-Home Education Videos During Pandemic

As schools around the world close their buildings and families with children find themselves at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube has partnered with learning creators to bring parents and families resources and activities to educate in the home.

YouTube says the resources — dubbed “Learning@Home” — are not meant to replace homework assigned by teachers, but meant to complement that work.

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The content, which is free, in eight languages and does not feature advertising, is categorized for families with teens, kids aged five and older and preschoolers. Subjects include science, math, humanities and electives.

The site has also partnered with Khan Academy to feature daily “homeroom” videos.

Google-owned YouTube also offers virtual field trips to destinations around the globe. The videos can be played on a Web browser, mobile phone, or by using a standalone virtual reality (VR) device.

“The resource will continue to evolve. We’ve built the hub with the support and cooperation of UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, who is also working with other education partners to respond to this emergency,” Google said in a statement.  “As we continue receiving feedback from teachers and partners on what’s most helpful, we’ll continue to build and improve this.”

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Paley Center Offers Curated YouTube Programming

The Paley Center for Media March 23 unveiled Paley@Home on YouTube, a curated collection of programming from past PaleyFest LA and PaleyFest NY events, available free to the public.

The news comes as the Paley Center facilities in Los Angeles and New York have been temporarily closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, causing several live events to be postponed or canceled.

“We’re pleased to share these curated programs from the premier television festival, and hope that television fans draw comfort and joy from these entertaining discussions as we all navigate through this challenging time,” said Maureen J. Reidy, Paley Center President & CEO. “We also encourage television fans to explore our YouTube channel for even more acclaimed Paley Center content.”

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The Paley Center’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/paleycenter​) will release a new video per day for the next week, with content focused on current television shows, classics, and fan favorites including, some of which have never been released in full for viewing. The programs will be screened for 24 hours only starting at 10 a.m. ET.

The schedule includes:

  • March 23 — “Supernatural” PaleyFest LA 2018 (same day as the new “Supernatural” episode)
  • March 24 — “This Is Us” PaleyFest LA 2017 (same day as the “This Is Us” season finale)
  • March 25 — “Parks and Recreation” Reunion PaleyFest LA 2019
  • March 26 — “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” PaleyFest NY 2016
  • March 27 — “Blue Bloods” PaleyFest NY 2017 (same day as the new “Blue Bloods” episode)
  • March 28 — “The Office” PaleyFest LA 2007
  • March 29 — “The Walking Dead” PaleyFest LA 2017 (same day as the new “Walking Dead” episode)

 

In addition, the Paley Center’s YouTube channel has thousands of clips with hundreds of stars from favorite TV shows that fans can watch at any time, as well as curated playlists.

For more information, visit paleycenter.org.

French Telecom Asks for Disney+ Launch Delay; Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube Throttle Streaming Speed in Europe

With hundreds of millions of Europeans quarantined in their homes to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CEO of French telecom Orange has called on Disney to postpone the planned March 24 launch of branded subscription streaming video service Disney+.

In an interview with French daily Le Figaro, CEO Stephane Richard requested “a few weeks delay” for the Disney+ launch, citing heightened ISP demands throughout the country during the pandemic that has infected nearly 300,000 people globally, with the death toll around 5,000. Orange is one of four major ISPs in France.

Disney already canceled a major SVOD launch party slated for March 5 in London.

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Separately, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube have joined Netflix in Europe reducing streaming bit rates in an effort to not overwhelm  local networks during the crisis. The slowdown means subscribers with high-definition access, including 4K, could be throttled as low as 600kbps, limiting resolution to about 360p on mobile devices and 670p on TV.

The move follows Netflix’s decision to reduce streaming speeds by 25% after CEO Reed Hastings met with European Union commissioner Thierry Breton — the latter requesting all major streaming video services voluntarily throttle bit rates.

“We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default,” YouTube said in a statement.

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Analyst: Netflix, YouTube Bandwidth Throttling Not Enough to Prevent Network Overload in Europe

The agreement of video streaming giants Netflix and YouTube to reduce streaming quality in Europe over the coronavirus crisis is not enough to prevent network overload, according to a director at data analytics company GlobalData.

Gaming services must also pitch in.

“Netflix and Alphabet have demonstrated superb industry leadership with this compromise and gesture, but online gaming service providers must now follow suit,” Emma Mohr-McClune, tech service director at GlobalData, said in a statement.Although video streaming represents the lion’s share of residential Internet traffic in Europe, interactive online gaming is a substantially greater threat in network overload terms. Any mass market spike in activity will have significant consequences for vital government and functions for markets in COVID-19 lockdown mode.”

Modeling impending network use during the crisis is uncharted territory, she noted.

“We are anticipating significant network challenges as millions of families spend the next foreseeable weeks in lock-down mode,” she said in a statement. “Problematically, there is no forecast template for the situation in which we find ourselves today. The quantitative industry has always reckoned with network traffic management scenarios with standard peak/off-peak times based on the standard movement and school-attendance time profile of the average online gamer. The COVID-19 lock-down will throw all that to the wall.

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“All European telcos are now putting capacity boost and traffic management processes into place, as a response to the ongoing crisis, but their efforts will be hampered without an honest dialogue between OTTs, state bodies and the network services industry.

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“At the same time, consumers must heed the call of their service providers to exercise responsible usage of the Internet. Staying at home will be particularly taxing on the discipline and patience of millennials and the digital native generation. However, exactly this generation need to show their solidarity in terms of restraint.”