WarnerMedia and Sesame Workshop Boost Efforts to Win Kids’ Streaming War by Expanding Programming on HBO Max
WarnerMedia and Sesame Workshop are shoving their way through the kids’ streaming war by expanding educational programming with a new series “Sesame Street Mecha Builders,” where Cookie Monster, Elmo and Abby Cadabby will appear as non-fuzzy, robot heroes. The show aims to challenge older preschoolers’ to think more about science and technology. Before appearing on HBO Max, the new kids’ series will debut on WarnerMedia’s Cartoonito programming block on Monday, May 9. In addition to “Mecha Builders” and the iconic original series, there are numerous other Sesame-related projects in the works.
WarnerMedia and Sesame Workshop are currently in the middle of a deal that lasts through 2025, and the expanded content agreement shows the growing importance of kids’ programming as media companies wage a brawl for subscribers interested in streaming content for young audiences.
Just last month, Interpret’s VideoWatch report showed that just under one-third (32%) of parents with children age 10 and under in the U.S. currently subscribe to HBO Max.
WarnerMedia Kids & Family has been making moves to change its reputation. According to CEO Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop will produce more series and specials for WarnerMedia, such as the preschool show “Bea’s Block;” a Sesame Street-themed reimagining of “The Nutcracker” that stars Elmo and his new puppy, Tango, which is expected to debut in time for the 2022 holiday season; and a new animated miniseries based on E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web,” with the blessing from the author’s estate and granddaughter.
The titles join other Sesame Workshop series like “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo,” “Esme & Roy,” as well as “Sesame Street,” which celebrates 52 seasons this year and has new episodes premiering on the platform every Thursday.
On a special inner city street, the inhabitants—human and muppet—teach preschoolers basic educational and social concepts using comedy, cartoons, games, and songs.
Sesame Workshop content is “one of the strongest performers on the kids’ section” of HBO Max, said Tom Ascheim, president of kids, young adults, and classics programming at WarnerMedia. “In the past, ‘Sesame Street’ was falling in linear ratings in relation to some of their more modern competitors, like Nickelodeon. I think in streaming, people are finding them again,” he added.
The fun is JUST getting started at Cartoonito 🧸 🎉 🌈 Check out exciting NEW SHOWS streaming in 2022 on @HBOMax! #Cartoonito #HBOMax #Batwheels #MechaBuilders #BugsBunnyBuilders #BeasBlock #Blippi #VladAndNiki #LucasTheSpider #LellobeeCityFarm #MushMush #BingBunny #Pocoyo pic.twitter.com/czcUPmU6FK— Cartoonito (@CartoonitoCN) February 17, 2022
Other kid-focused shows coming to HBO Max this year include “Batwheels,” “Bugs Bunny Builders,” “Lucas the Spider,” “Mush-Mush & the Mushables,” “Bing Bunny,” “Pocoyo,” and more.
In addition, Warner Media acquired the rights to popular shows “Blippi,” “CoComelon,” “Lellobee City Farm,” and “Vlad & Niki” along with expanding partnership with children’s book author Mo Willems. The company also unveiled Cartoonito, a daily schedule on Cartoon Network devoted to viewers decidedly too young for “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Squidbillies.”
There is no doubt that families with young kids who are already subscribing to HBO Max will welcome the continued additions of children’s content. However, will the streamer’s family-friendly focus convince other consumers to subscribe as well?
Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals. There are hubs for content from TLC, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, TCM, Cartoon Network, Travel Channel, ID, and more. Watch hit series like “The Last of Us,” “House of the Dragon,” “Succession,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and more. The service changed its name from “HBO Max” on May 23, 2023.
Max has three tiers, an ad-supported plan for $9.99 an ad-free plan for $15.99, and the ultimate tier that includes 4K for $19.99.
All Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.
You can choose to add Max as a subscription through Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or other Live TV providers.