Viacom's My Nick Jr. Service to Launch in China

Bob Bakish - PR Head Shot - 2010

The personalized edutainment service, for which the firm has already reached deals in France, the U.K. and the U.S., will become available on a new online video service as an over-the-top offer.

LONDON – Viacom’s Viacom International Media Networks Asia unit said Wednesday that it will launch the My Nick Jr. personalized edutainment service in China in the form of an “over-the-top” online service.

The launch will come in collaboration with SMIT, a conditional access module manufacturer based in China, with which Viacom International Media Networks reached a multiyear deal.

My Nick Jr., which allows parents to curate and customize their children’s viewing experience around 11 educational themes (such as math, language and problem solving) in an advertising-free environment, is already available in France on the CanalSat service of Vivendi’s Canal Plus and in the U.K. for Virgin Media’s TiVo customers. Verizon has announced a U.S. launch for the near future.

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The China deal, financial details of which weren’t disclosed, will mark the first time that My Nick Jr. will be available in China and the first time it will be offered as an online service. It will become available to subscribers of iVmall, an online video service that SMIT unit Shenzhen Video Mall Network Technology is set to launch by midyear. The service will be offered in English and Mandarin.

My Nick Jr. in China will feature hundreds of episodes of Nick Jr. shows, including Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go!, Team Umizoomi and Ni Hao Kai Lan. My Nick Jr. constantly adapts to the preferences of each child who rates content. Industry observers have said the My Nick Jr. service uses elements of such digital services as Netflix and Pandora.

“Nick Jr. is about giving children and parents what they want — ‘A Smart Place to Play.’ With My Nick Jr., we are offering parents a unique, user-personalized digital-viewing edutainment experience for their children to learn in a safe, supervised environment, while maximizing their enjoyment watching their beloved Nick Jr. shows and characters like Dora the Explorer,” said Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks.

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He added: “We’re thrilled to be SMIT’s exclusive international kids’ entertainment app partner for preschool children through this collaboration on iVmall.”

“We are convinced of the potential of the My Nick Jr. service as we are living in the world of personalization,” said SMIT chairman and CEO Xueliang Huang. “Chinese families who join our Internet video service will love the My Nick Jr. service for their children, and we are delighted to not only be the first Internet video platform to launch it in China, but in Asia, too.”

According to the latest data cited by Viacom, 247 million out of nearly 500 million Chinese mobile users now watch videos online.

VIMN Asia plans to roll out My Nick Jr. to other Asian pay TV and or OTT providers.

Twitter: @georgszalai