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Canada's DHX Media to Launch Paid Content Channels on YouTube

The Canadian kids producer, backed by a large library, becomes a revenue-sharing partner in the new Google-owned subscription-based service.

TORONTO – Canadian indie producer DHX Media has made a deal with Google to be part of YouTube’s first paid-content channel offerings.

Backed by a large library of kids' programming after acquiring Care Bears-owner Cookie Jar Entertainment, DHX is to launch three specialist YouTube channels, DHX Kids, DHX Junior and DHX Retro, in an initial 10 markets, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

DHX executive chairman Michael Hirsh said the revenue-sharing agreement with Google will put his giant indie kids' library to work making money on YouTube, along with some first-run series in select markets.

“The beauty of having such a large library is we have a mix of classic and news shows, some of which have never been seen in certain territories,” he added.

The Canadian producer will market the digital subscription channels on the Google-owned service initially at around $2.99 a month, depending on currency fluctuations.

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Discounted yearly subscriptions will also be available to keep the subscription-based channels affordable for consumers.

DHX series set to feature in the initial playlists for the three YouTube digital channels include Busytown Mysteries, Caillou, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test and Yo Gabba Gabba! Having built up a strong kids production business, often through international co-productions, DHX has recently focused on exploiting Cookie Jar’s growing global distribution business.

The landmark deal with Google’s YouTube moves DHX beyond recently-struck digital supply deals with the U.S. digital platform Hoopla, Amazon’s European digital media subsidiary LOVEFiLM, blinkbox, Dailymotion and Wananchi.

Hirsh said the non-exclusive deal means DHX will continue supplying library content to Netflix and Amazon, among other digital platforms.

At the same time, Hirsh pointed to YouTube and its billion-strong global viewing audience as a strong partner able to drive affordable content to consumers.

“They’ve aggregated a lot of eyeballs to their service and we think there’s no better partner to be in business with from day one,” he argued.