FuturumKids and Monster Entertainment bring Paddles to Australia

Animation and media company FuturumKids, whose new CGI show for four-to-seven-year-olds, Paddles, has launched in a number of markets, has announced its arrival in its first major market outside Europe with a deal to show Paddles on the Stan streaming service in Australia.

Stan is a video-on-demand subscription service that provides its customers with access to a wide range of movies, television programmes, sports and other audio-visual content. This includes original productions and high-quality acquisitions, notably in children’s programming, where Stan has been building a strong portfolio of quality kids’ content.

With its wide availability on multiple devices, Stan has the fastest subscription growth rate of any streaming service in Australia. The show will launch on the Australian network in the autumn, boosting the fast-growing presence of the lovable polar bear in multiple markets.

The deal was brokered by brand management company Monster Entertainment, which last year signed a global distribution deal for Paddles. Monster Entertainment will focus on bringing Paddles to new territories around the world except Korea, which will be managed by local company Neon.

Paddles, a 52 x 11 series, tells the story of a polar bear cub who accidentally finds himself in Ireland – and is brought up by a pack of Irish wolfhounds.

This deal is the latest stage in the broadcast and merchandising development of Paddles, whose makers include members of the team behind the seven-time Emmy-award-winning children’s series Jakers! FuturumKids also contains senior figures from HIT Entertainment and its global franchises Bob the Builder, Barney and Thomas and Friends.

Paddles has already been sold to Cartoonito UK and launched on Ireland’s RTE with more major broadcast deals imminent. The Futurum team will be building on this success at MIPTV, where it expects to see strong interest in the show, which is also making inroads into the licensing arena.

As well as distribution deals with Monster and Neon, an e-commerce venture for plush is in the works, with a merchandising strategy already in place. This is led by Niall Watters, formerly Head of Brand Partnerships at ChannelSight, a leading e-commerce intelligence and performance optimisation platform. He is now Head of Commercial at Futurum Group and building a merchandising strategy that will start by bringing specially developed Paddles plush and other items to market at the same time as the show launches in a number of countries.

The first range of Paddles licensing and merchandising products is already on the way and a number of other deals are to be announced in the runup to MIPTV.

Brendan Kelly, Head of Sales at FuturumKids, says: “There’s always a very strong demand for preschool entertainment but it takes something special to attract the attention of a streaming service like Stan, which is focusing on building a portfolio of quality kids’ shows. We believe Paddles perfectly fits this aim and are thrilled that Monster Entertainment has brokered this deal with a leading name in Australia’s VoD market.”

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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