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Viacom is leading a $15 million investment round in kids media startup pocket.watch, the companies disclosed Wednesday.
Other investors in the Series B round include Greycroft’s Tracker fund and UTA Ventures.
Through the investment, Viacom Media Networks COO Sarah Levy will join the pocket.watch board. Further, Viacom has entered into a commercial agreement with pocket.watch, which produces digital content for children, that will include content, advertising and talent.
The two companies have already teamed up to develop sketch comedy show Skoogle, created by and starring Kenan Thompson, for Nickelodeon. Viacom’s Paramount Players has also purchased feature film The Unboxing Movie from pocket.watch. Further collaborations are expected.
On the sales side, Viacom will package pocket.watch’s branded video offers with Nickelodeon’s ad inventory to offer solutions that span digital and traditional.
“Pocket.watch’s unique and comprehensive approach to celebrating the new digital stars of today makes them an outstanding partner for Nickelodeon and our unmatched connections with kids around the world through video, digital and real-world events,” said Levy. “It’s great to be in business with them and we are excited to be expanding our relationship with such an innovative new media brand.”
CEO Chris Williams added that he was “thrilled” to have Viacom join the roster of pocket.watch investors: “We started pocket.watch with the understanding that kids today consume entertainment in entirely new ways, and in order to reach them, brands have to go to where they are and celebrate the things they love.”
One-year-old pocket.watch has created a digital entertainment platform for children where it is working to develop new digital stars and franchises. The company, which has amassed a YouTube following of over 34 million, has raised more than $21 million to date and counts Leslie Moonves and Robert Downey Jr. as early investors.
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish has made digital a focus since taking the reins of the company, announcing plans to launch a streaming service and building out a digital-first business under the newly created Viacom Digital Studios.
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