Mediatoon Licensing taps Studio 100 Media for Benelux and Eastern European licensing programmes

Studio 100 Media has embarked on a new partnership with Mediatoon Licensing to build out a licensing programme for some of the best-loved IP from the Mediatoon portfolio across German speaking territories, Benelux, Eastern Europe, and Nordics.

The agreement encompasses series already popular on the international scene, including Bobby & Bill, Little Furry, Martin Morning, Ernest & Rebecca, and The Fox and the Badger Family. All of which currently enjoy primetime slots on KiKA, ZDF, and on Benelux TV channels, as well as on Amazon, YouTube, and Kixi.

Those properties enable Studio 100 Media to establish a broad program of content-driven products. But also in other categories, new approaches to develop exciting products are conceived and implemented on the basis of market experience.

In addition, Studio 100 Media’s international licensing team will also drive the licensing of Mediatoon’s popular classics like Lucky Luke and Yakari in Benelux, Poland and the Nordics to extend their international presence.

 “We are really proud to start a new collaboration with Studio 100 Benelux and Studio 100 Media, our new licensing agents in GSA, Northern and Eastern Europe,” said Jérôme Leclercq, general manager of Mediatoon Licensing.  

“Mediatoon Licensing’s portfolio fits perfectly with Studio 100’s catalogue, the professionalism and the licensing strategy of Studio 100 definitely convinced us to choose them as partners to develop our properties in these territories.”

CoComelon to air on the UK’s Cartoonito in ‘milestone’ partnership for Moonbug Entertainment

Moonbug Entertainment has secured a ‘milestone’ partnership with the UK’s popular pre-school network, Cartoonito thaat will see its hit series CoComelon air on the channel each weekday at 5pm.

From April 5, all available episodes of Moonbug’s flagship pre-school series will be accessible, delivering ‘hours of engaging entertainment’ to pre-school kids in the UK.

“This partnership is a true milestone for Moonbug. Cartoonito as a premium children-dedicated linear channel is the first in the UK to pick up the digitally-originated CoComelon,” said Nicolas Eglau, managing director EMEA and APAC, Moonbug.

“This cooperation not only widens the reach of Moonbug programming, but is also a further vote of confidence in digital content, underscoring the trust that Moonbug has built with its globally loved IPs.”

Featuring 3D animation and catchy tunes, CoComelon follows JJ and his siblings as they go on fun, relatable adventures, playing, exploring and learning along the way. CoComelon models positivity and good behavior and supports preschoolers’ learning through music, providing parents an opportunity to teach and play with their children as they watch together.

Moonbug Entertainment is an award-winning global entertainment company with a portfolio of kids’ programming that includes not only CoComelon, but Blippi, Little Baby Bum, and My Magic Pet Morphle, with content available in 27 languages.

Most recently, Moonbug tapped the UK’s Character Options as master toy partner for Morphle, bolstering a slate of recent licensing advances for the pre-school studio.

In just two years, Moonbug has become a kids’ programming powerhouse with a library of more than 550 hours of content, which is distributed on more than 100 platforms globally, including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Joyn, Sky and Roku.

Edutainment Licensing launches own branded TV channel through VixiTV partnership

Edutainment Licensing has launched its own branded TV channel, a new AVOD channel that will feature shows from across its portfolio. The new channel has been launched in partnership with VixiTV and accessed via a new app called Kiddo.

The AVOD channel is already available to download on all LG and Samsung Smart TVs, Amazon Fire and was lately released via GooglePlay for both mobile Android devices and TVs.

“Covid-19 has boosted online content consumption and we were delighted to partner with Vixi to create our own app and to be able to offer this an additional source of revenue for our Producers,” said Denise Deane, owner of Edutainment Licensing.

Combining over 50 years of experience in the ad-tech field, Vixi has developed technology offering a software to develop, manage, and distribute apps as Smart TV applications. 

The initial focus for the launch of the Kiddo app is on building a strong presence for Edutainment Licensing’s edutainment properties across English-speaking markets, APAC and LATAM.

Shows featured on the app include Super Geek Heroes, Little Smart Planet, Bino and Fino, Giligilis, Hoorah Hippo, Lingokids, Out Of This Word, nxBEATS, Sooty and The Theo The Mouse Show.

ZAG appoints new VP of licensing for Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe and Russia

The independent animation studio, ZAG is continuing to bolster its senior executive team with the appointment of the seasoned licensing executive, Helena Perheentupa to the newly created role of VP, licensing, Central, Eastern, Northern Europe and Russia.

Perheentupa joins ZAG from Mattel in Frankfurt, Germany, where she rose through the ranks over her 13-year tenure to become head of licensing, In the role, she oversaw Mattel properties such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, Monster High, Uno, Matchbox; and Hit Entertainment properties, Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder, Pingu and more.

Prior, she served at another bluechip giant, Procter & Gamble, with roles including category manager beauty care and joint business planning manager, developing, planning and executing a range of long-term strategic projects for the giant’s extensive brand portfolio.

Perheentupa will spearhead the licensing and new business development efforts in region for ZAG’s portfolio of ZAG Heroez brands, reporting to Kirk Bloomgarden, ZAG’s SVP, global licensing, and managing the company’s regional licensing agents including CPLG  (GAS,) J&M (Benelux), Planeta Junior (CEE), and Saks (Russia).

“Europe has been and continues to be a hugely important region for ZAG, and Helena’s “boots on the ground” appointment will ensure that we are driving new business and supporting our licensees, retailers and promotional partners for ZAG’s portfolio of brands including of course our flagship brand, Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, our newest property, Ghostforce, currently in production for Disney Channel EMEA, TF1, and Discovery Kids Latin America, and a soon to be announced new IP,” said Julian Zag.

“Helena is a well-liked and well-respected industry executive and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the team.”

Viewpoint | WildBrain CPLG’s John Taylor explores the global shift and trends for 2021

Major changes are taking place across both the licensing and retail landscapes, and it’s not all driven by the pandemic. Yes, the arrival of the coronavirus on a global scale has influenced some sweeping evolutionary moves for businesses the world over, but it has only acted as a facilitator of the inevitable changes that were upon us.

Here, John Taylor, VP Northern Europe and MD UK and France at WildBrain CPLG talks us through a selection of the biggest trends he believes will go on to define the year 2021.

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With 2021 underway and the industry navigating changes to the licensing and retail landscape brought on by the global pandemic and other forces, I’d like to explore five key trends that we at WildBrain CPLG expect to see this year and what we think they will mean for brand owners.

Sustainability accelerates 

For several years, the licensing industry has been discussing how we can make our business better for the environment, and how we can play a part in protecting our planet for future generations. There’s been significant acceleration in this area and a clear shift in priorities, with sustainability now an urgent focus for many businesses.

Plans for developing more environmentally conscious products and packaging are being worked into licensing agreements, which is an extremely positive step. 

Some good examples we’ve seen include The LEGO Group pledging up to US$400 million over three years to accelerate its sustainability and social responsibility initiatives, and Hasbro phasing out plastic from new toy and game packaging. 

I anticipate we’ll also see more brands making sustainability a focus not only in product development, but also in marketing activities. Last October, our partner Peanuts Worldwide launched a fantastic multi-year initiative called ‘Take Care with Peanuts’ as part of the brand’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

The campaign directly draws from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strips and reminds all of us to be good global citizens, with caring for nature and the environment forming a key part of this. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re looking forward to delivering great licensing partnerships which uphold this ethos to support the campaign.  

I’d also like to extend a huge congratulations to Helena Mansell-Stopher, CEO at Products of Change, for her work in pulling together the first Sustainability in Licensing Conference last year. It’s clear the licensing industry is committed to doing more to protect our planet, and seeing everyone come together to share ideas and knowledge was really inspiring.  

Supporting retail innovation 

Retail has always been a huge part of my career, and I have great respect for all those working in the sector – I still find myself tidying shelves and rearranging displays when I’m out shopping! It used to be that the industry would only assess the state of the retail landscape on an annual basis, which then became every quarter as e-commerce began changing the way we shopped. Now, with the current pandemic, retail is being discussed in the news on an almost daily basis. 

Given the pace at which the retail landscape is changing, its important the industry comes together and works closely with retailers to ensure we understand their challenges, needs and ambitions. Now, more than ever, licensors and licensing agents need to provide the innovation and tools required for retailers to stand out and keep their customers coming back for more. 

Navigating through COVID

While we can look to the horizon with optimisim, there is little doubt that COVID will still be affecting the industry throughout the year – particularly when it comes to forward planning and strategies. This pandemic has highlighted how important it is for brand owners and retailers to have not only a Plan A, but also Plans B and C and beyond, which gives them flexibility to effectively react and adapt to changing circumstances. These plans should be centred around aspects of the business they can control and where possible be informed by data and insights.

Consumer buying habits have changed significantly, from both where they are buying and what they are looking for, so staying on top of purchasing behaviours and trends will be very important. Sound contingency plans will ensure businesses of all sizes are equipped to face whatever surprises and opportunities may arise. 

Shifting consumer habits 

With a lot of the population spending much more time at home, we’ve seen notable changes in the types of products consumers are seeking out. Unsurprisingly, there’s been a big spike in home improvements and renovations as people make their surroundings not only more functional, but also more comfortable. 

Licensing has seen positive benefits from this shift in purchasing, with growth in the homewares category and also in toys and games as families spend more quality time together. The World of David Walliams, for example, has shown huge growth for us this year with the brilliant collection from University Games. 

Many new licensing opportunities are also opening up due to the increased time spent at home. Brand owners are exploring categories they previously had not considered or which may not have been a priority. For example, we recently secured a deal on behalf of Osprey London for a garden furniture range, which wasn’t in our plans at the start of 2020. We’re also in discussions with many other potential new licensees who have never ventured into homewares licensing before, but are starting to see the value of this revenue stream and now want to jump into our world. 

Streaming brands blossom

As we’re not expecting any tentpole movie releases until later this year, streaming is currently winning the attention of audiences. The growth of streaming has opened up some exciting retail and licensing opportunities for key titles available on major platforms. We’ve been blown away by the demand for merchandise from streaming shows in our portfolio, such as Sony Pictures Consumer Products’ Cobra Kai and The Boys – both major hits that made ‘most watched’ lists in 2020. In early 2021, we’re bringing fans products from such brands that they’ve been eager to find, and we’re excited to see how the industry capitalises on the potential these type of properties offer.  

Whatever 2021 has in store, this is definitely going to be a year businesses need to unite and support the whole licensing chain. Here’s wishing everyone a healthy and brighter year ahead.