The Wild Rise of Moonbug — The Magic Money Machine on YouTube

In the end months alone, videos from Cocomelon, Little Baby Bum, and Blippi have been viewed more than 2.37 billion times. These three the YouTube The channels — which are one of the largest on the platform — have, in total, garnered 157 billion views in the few short years they’ve been online. And now they are worth $ 3 billion.

You may not know them, but anyone with small children will know. Cocomelon is the only second most watched channel across YouTube. And, after a series of acquisitions, all three are now owned by one company: Moonbug Entertainment.

Their origin stories are different. Blippi — real name Stevin John and an entertainer like Mr. Rogers — has been well -known to children around the world since the launch of his YouTube channel in 2014, as well as to those who know him as Steezy Grossman, the man who previously defiled a friend’s genitals in an early viral video. Little Baby Bum was started in 2011 by husband and wife team Derek and Cannis Holder. The pair rightly believe there is a market place for beautifully animated versions of nursery rhymes. A similar assumption to a California couple Working through the worlds of children’s book illustrations and filmmaking resulted in Cocomelon.

Having swallowed three of YouTube’s most popular children’s channels, London -based Moonbug has swallowed itself. The announced price tag? A cool $ 3 billion, or about half of what Disney bought Pixar in 2006.

The buyer is a group led by former Walt Disney executive and short -lived TikTok US CEO Kevin Mayer, and backed by The Blackstone Group, a New York private equity firm. It’s an astronomical increase in value for Moonbug, and proof — if need be — that children’s entertainment is big business. “This shows that children’s content is a huge and very valuable market, and that native digital companies once again have values ​​that rival or prefer traditional media companies,” he said. Bastian Manintveld, executive chairman of Spanish entertainment company 2btube, who has a lot of trouble with children. bukton.

“Kids represent an important target for YouTube monetization strategies,” said Alexandra Ruiz-Gomez, a social media professor who specializes in kidfluencers at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. And Moonbug’s intellectual property, which includes Cocomelon and Little Baby Bum, is loved by millions-so much loved that Moonbug will have $ 53 million in revenue by 2020, according to financial results filed in the UK.

Moonbug’s interest and various similar mergers and acquisitions over the past 24 months — from Epic’s acquisition of kidtech platform SuperAwesome in September 2020 to $ 500 million purchase on the reading and learning platform Epic (confusingly, it’s still an Epic) by India’s education service company Byju in July 2021 — is testament to the growing legitimacy of children’s content on platforms such as YouTube. It is motivated by the willingness of major tech platforms to invest in kidtech and moderation. Recognizing that the internet was never designed for children but they have been adopted in large numbers, the platforms and companies that create content for them are now trying to design with children in mind. And the result is big money deals that were previously unattractive to investors.

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