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PBS Kids Expands Streaming Access

1 Jul, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Children’s channel inks deal with Amazon Prime Video

PBS Kids July 1 announced a license agreement with Amazon Prime Video granting the e-commerce behemoth’s subscription streaming service exclusive rights to select programming — after it airs on TV.

The deal comes less than six months after PBS Kids launched an online TV channel and live stream on digital platforms featuring programming 24 hours a day.

Streaming on PBSkids.org accounts for nearly half of all time spent watching kids videos online, and the site is No. 1 in the kids’ category for total views and minutes spent, according to comScore. Across digital platforms, PBS Kids averages 419.8 million streams per month, according to Google Analytics.

PBS says its programs have been developed with the needs of today’s children in mind, focusing on fundamental academic areas such as literacy, science, technology, engineering and math, in addition to collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.

“We are very pleased to be continuing our relationship with Amazon, increasing Prime Video members’ access to our educational programming,” Lesli Rotenberg, SVP and GM of children’s media and education for PBS, said in a statement.

Prime members in the U.S. can watch PBS Kids episodes via the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices (including Fire TV), mobile devices and online. In addition to streaming, all episodes are also available to download for offline viewing on iPads, iPhones, Android phones, and tablets and Fire tablets.

With children gravitating toward portable media devices, in addition to the TV, targeted programming online has become hot property.

Last year, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind venerable series “Sesame Street” featuring Jim Henson’s characters, announced a deal with HBO, making the next five seasons of the Emmy Award-winning show available first on HBO, HBO Go and SVOD service HBO Now.

Netflix and Hulu have long operated standalone platforms aimed at children, featuring age-appropriate content and no advertising.

Indeed, PBS Kids titles will also be available with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited — a subscription service designed for kids and their parents.

“From our award-winning Amazon Original Series to amazing licensed content from industry leaders like PBS Kids, we’re committed to making Prime Video the best destination for kids and family programming that will both educate and entertain,” said Brad Beale, VP of worldwide television acquisition for Amazon.

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