All of a sudden, kid-focused Internet TV is all the rage. Google just launched YouTube Kids. Amazon renewed some of its exclusive children’s shows. Netflix is bringing back Inspector Gadget. Not content to let the tech giants hog all the tiny attention spans, Nickelodeon wants in on the action, too.
Next month, Nickelodeon will launch Noggin, a mobile video subscription aimed at pre-kindergarten kids. For $6 per month, parents will be able to distract their youngsters with programming from Nickelodeon’s archives. (Noggin was also the name of Nickelodeon’s sister network for young kids, which launched in 1999 and ran until 2009, when it was rebranded as Nick Jr.)
But kids clamoring for the latest and most beloved Nick episodes may be disappointed. The focus here is on archival content rather than the shows that are currently on the air. As TechCrunch explains:
Details of the service were introduced at Nickelodeon’s annual upfront presentation today, where the company confirmed some of the initial content Noggin will include. Several of its current kids’ shows such as Blue’s Clues, Little Bear and Ni Hao, Kai-lan will be available at launch, as will animations featuring Nick’s preschool characters Moose and Zee who pop up in between TV shows on Nick’s TV channel, offering short-form educational games that help kids learn letters, shapes, matching and more.
The company says that the streaming service will offer other long and short-form content, too, including titles like Allegra’s Window, Blue’s Room, Franklin and Friends, Gullah Gullah Island, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, Oswald, Pocoyo, Robot and Monster and The Upside Down Show.
Significantly, the Noggin service is unbundled from viewers’ cable subscriptions. So you don’t need to authenticate with a cable login, but rather just sign up and pay the monthly fee, Netflix-style. These standalone subscription services are becoming more popular among cable channels, HBO Go’s upcoming subscription service being the most notable (and sought after) example.
For Nickelodeon, this move is more about monetizing its archives than anything else. Still, with existing subscription services like Hulu and Netflix–which also cater to grown-ups–will parents pay another $6 per month to keep the little ones happy and distracted? We’ll just have to stay tuned.