By Sahil Patel
Normally at VideoInk, we do not cover licensing deals when they apply to existing television or film properties. But considering the company involved, here is an interesting one:
Maker Studios is partnering with AG Properties, the licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, to make full episodes of ’80s shows like “Care Bears” and “Strawberry Shortcake” on the MCN’s Cartoonium hub.
The first episodes of each show are already available on Cartoonium. Maker and AG plan to roll out additional episodes and clips on a weekly basis. “Care Bears” content will be posted to Cartoonium on Sundays, while “Strawberry Shortcake” clips will show up on Fridays.
In the announcement, both Maker and AG executives pay lip service to bringing the classic ’80s shows to a new audience. And it makes sense. Not unlike what Netflix and Amazon have been doing with both their original and licensing strategies, the future of entertainment is with the kids, who as many are quick to remind us treat content as content, regardless of which screen they’re watching it on. So it stands to reason that Maker would look to do a similar thing, especially as it looks to expand beyond YouTube and build out a web video presence via an owned-and-operated video destination. And really, that’s where deals such as these get really interesting. If and when Maker launches a destination using the Blip player, will licensed “premium” programming such as this be available on that platform? It probably will.
Victoria Ramirez has been hired as the head of digital programming for AG Properties, where one of her responsibilities will be to manage this new partnership with Maker Studios.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Cartoonium is Maker’s content hub focusing exclusively on family-friendly programming. Other shows on the channel include original fare like the animated series “Shaybeard” from Maker co-founder ShayCarl, as well as other licensed content.