The video business is showing signs of maturity as more digital networks and distributors have begun to issue series renewals. MONDO Media, the digital-first network for animated series, and its production arm Six Point Harness, have renewed two adult comedy series — “Cat Agent” from Emmy Award-winning director Kent Osborne and “Deep Space 69” from Daniel Katz — for Ellation’s genre-driven premium SVOD service VRV. With eight 11-minute episodes each, both series are already in production, expected for release by middle to late.
“We’ve tested dozens and dozens of series, and we can tell without too much difficulty how a show is performing on YouTube, so it’s pretty clear which shows have the strongest response,” said MONDO Media’s Chief Creative Officer, Brendan Burch. “Our audience loves these two shows. We wanted to work with [Daniel and Kent] again in a longer format —that was always part of the long-term plan for our most successful MONDO shows.”
Soon to be in its fourth season, “Deep Space 69” has grabbed over 50 million views on its first three seasons on YouTube as the series follows an intergalactic pilot searching for sex-ploitation alongside his comrade (and koala), Hamilton.
“Cat Agent” merges the hottest commodity of the internet — cats — with Hollywood-celebrity culture as Cat Agent reps some of Hollywood’s hottest felines. Yeti Farm Creative will support on production of both series.
For MONDO Media, renewing “Cat Agent” and “Deep Space 69” is just the beginning, according to co-founder and CEO John Evershed, who told VideoInk that a diversified approach to distribution will underpin their slate.
“We’re building our audience with short-form content on AVOD platforms and social, which will drive the most passionate viewers to be willing to pay for longer-form content on our SVOD channel on VRV,” which charges $2.99 a month for an individual channel to $9.99 a month for all eight channels, which together provide more than 10,000 hours of content.
“For the more casual fan, we’ll have content available on transactional VOD,” he said. “We’re also continuing to sell shows to both digital and traditional platforms, which help us both scale the business and build a strong brand.”
MONDO, which has become the most viewed animation channel with over 3 billion views on YouTube, launched on VRV last Fall with its existing library including premium titles “Dick Figures: The Movie” and “Prison Pit”and with an aim at premiering additional long-form originals once it had a brand established on the SVOD service.
“Things will really start to take off for us on VRV when we start premiering our new long-form shows, and we plan to release a lot of brand-new material on VRV over the next two years,” added Evershed, noting that though the business has thrived in scripted comedy, the team believes that animation fans are hungry for other genre-driven formats in horror, sci-fi and action.
It’s a bet VRV has also made by putting media brands like Cartoon Hangover, Nerdist, Seeso and CrunchyRoll, under one streaming hood.
“[Adult] audiences who love animation are clamoring for something other than comedy,” said Burch, “and we’ve seen the evidence with the success of Crunchyroll — outside of Asia, creators of animation have been wanting to make these shows for a very long time, so it’s exciting that streaming makes it possible.”