Cable Technology Feature Article
Sesame Street Joins Video-on-Demand Market with 'Sesame GO'
By Michelle Nicolson, TMCnet Contributing Writer
Like Walt Disney Studios, World Wrestling Entertainment and other media organizations before it, Sesame Workshop (News - Alert) is testing an independent video-on-demand (VOD) subscription service that is marketed directly to fans of the nonprofit’s educational show.
Called Sesame GO, the new VOD service works on Macs, PCs, smartphones and tablets. While episodes of the show are already available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube (News - Alert), Sesame Go will stream a more comprehensive list of classic and current Sesame Street episodes—as well as the show Pinky Dinky Doo, which is produced by Sesame Workshop and the gaming company Cartoon Pizza.
“I would not characterize it as Sesame becomes our own cable channel,” said Scott Chambers, senior vice president, worldwide media distribution for Sesame Workshop, to the Wall Street Journal. “We see this as a first step for us in building stronger, deeper, direct relationships with our audience. It’s an experiment, but it could be a viable part of our future.”
Image via The Next Web
You can see the appeal for parents of preschoolers—advertising-free, educational episodes of Sesame Street available whenever and wherever you go. It certainly beats the dangers lurking on YouTube, where the Sesame Street channel boosts one million subscribers, because there’s less of a chance of a child seeing an ad or clicking on an inappropriate video on another channel.
But is it worth $3.99 per month, or $29.99/year for just one show?
“Audiences demand anytime, anywhere access,” Chambers said in Time magazine. “We’re looking to basically connect directly with our audiences and then learn about what they want, how they want to engage with our content.”
Sesame Workshop also is exploring original programming, such as short-form videos or interactive games, according to Chambers.
The subscription-based service is available in the United States only for now, but plans are being made for international distribution.
Sesame GO uses the Kaltura open source video platform, which also powers videos from HBO, TMZ, the WB and other media companies.
Edited by Alisen Downey