Nickelodeon | Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) held its annual Australian upfront event at Crown Melbourne last night, and B&T tagged along to find out what’s in store for the company this year.
The event attracted retailers, buyers and licensees from across Australia and New Zealand, where NVCP executives also shared insights into how its research, content pipeline and long-term plans have powered the growth of Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV and Viacom’s other brands and properties on TV, online, at retail and in recreation.
Ben Cox, general manager and VP of Nickelodeon Networks Australia and New Zealand, said the company launched more animated and live action content in 2016 than ever before, and continued to grow its share of viewing audiences across broadcast and digital.
“Twenty-one of the top 25 shows watched by kids [up to four years of age] were on Nick Jr., Nickelodeon reached over 2.8 million viewers on subscription television alone, we attracted over 2.1 million page views across nick.com.au and nickjr.com.au, and the Australian Nick Play app has been downloaded onto 245,000 devices,” he said.
Nickelodeon’s pre-school content library will expand further in 2017 with the Australian launch of two new titles targeting kids up to four years of age:
- Co-produced by Spin Master, Rusty Rivets encourages kids to use their imagination to design and create fun and new inventions. It premieres on Nick Jr. on Monday, with toys planned for release within the next year.
- Nella the Princess Knight is a brand-new animated pre-school series following Nella, an unconventional eight-year-old who possesses the royal qualities of a princess (such as compassion and grace), while also embodying the courage and determination of a brave knight. The title features a social-emotional curriculum promoting self-confidence, inclusiveness and compassion for others, and premieres on Nick Jr. on 1 May, with Consumer Products launching in 2018.
NVCP also announced that Nickelodeon will reimagine the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with an all-new 26-episode, 2D-animated series, which will launch in the US in 2018 (the Australian debut is yet to be announced)
Attendees of the upfront event were also given previews of SpongeBob Gold, a 360-degree marketing and retail global initiative launched via collaborations with six international designers.
To further cater to adults, NVCP also unveiled licensing plans for a Nickelodeon retro line featuring classic properties such as Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy and Hey Arnold!, and showcased new global licenses for MTV in the fashion, technology and beverage categories.