The size of linear TV’s exclusive windows continues to shrink across the board. Today, it was announced that new episodes of the Japanese animated series “Yo-Kai Watch” will air on YouTube one month after their premiere on Disney XD.
“Yo-Kai Watch” is based on an original concept by company Japanese game developer Level-5. According Yukari Hayakawa, CEO of the show’s Santa Monica, Ca.-based distributor Level-5 Abby, the small window between broadcast and digital premieres is a key part of its strategy.
“It provides our fans with multiple opportunities for engagement… as well as access to special bonuses, prizes and promotions, available only via the official Yo-Kai Watch YouTube channel,” said Hayakawa in a statement.
The series airs on Disney XD on Mondays at 5 p.m. ET/PT. The first episode will debut on the show’s YouTube channel on Thurs., Nov. 5., and episodes two through five will roll out over daily over the next four days. Subsequent episodes will air premiere on Nov. 13, and every Thursday thereafter. The show will also be made available on VOD services from Disney and cable and satellite providers.
“Yo-Kai Watch” follows the misadventures of an average human boy and his involvement with the mischievous Yo-kai all around him. It was first introduced in Japan as a game for portable Nintendo 3DS systems. The series adaptation, which premiered on Disney XD last month, was first seen on Japanese television in 2014. The brand is getting a similarly wide multi-platform push in the U.S.. On November 3rd, a Yo-Kai Watch manga was published in the U.S. by Viz Media. On Nov. 6, a U.S. version of the Yo-Kai Watch for Nintendo 3DS systems will debut. Next year, they will be joined by a toy line from Hasbro debuting that will include plushies, books and character medals.
Level-5 Abby was established earlier this year to bring popular game and animation content from Japanese game developer Level-5 to fans across all devices and platforms. Its other franchises include Little Battler’s eXperience and SnackWorld. The company also plans develop original entertainment content designed specifically for Western and global markets. Level-5 Abby CEO Hayakawa previously served as a business development manager for Disney and media group manager for GEM Inc.