Sony Pictures Television Networks Buys Stake in Kids SVOD Service Hopster

Kate Marsh - P 2012

The company says it is already one of the top kids broadcasters in the U.K.

Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Television Networks said Thursday it has acquired a minority stake in Hopster, a global pre-school SVOD platform.

Financial details weren't disclosed. With the deal, Sony becomes a strategic equity investor and is taking a seat on the company’s board.

"The investment complements SPT Networks’ growing kid’s portfolio, particularly in the U.K., where SPT Networks’ linear and AVOD services include Pop, Tiny Pop and Kix, which make up the largest share of the commercial kids Freeview market in the territory," the company said.

Launched in December 2013 by Nick Walters, Hopster helps kids learn through shows they love, aiming for a balance between learning and fun.

Hopster is now available in over 100 countries worldwide and made its debut on Apple TV last year. Its shows include Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton and DHX Media’s Monster Math Squad and Franny’s Feet.

“With our Pop, Tiny Pop and Kix channels, Sony is one of the top kids broadcasters in the U.K.," said Kate Marsh, SPT Networks executive vp, Western Europe, international networks. "Investing in Hopster offers us an advantage in the fast-growing subscription kids’ space, and is a real opportunity to increase our on-demand services, working with the Hopster team to grow digital scale alongside our linear channels.”