Genius Brands Launching Streaming ‘Kidaverse’ After Acquiring Ameba TV

Kartoon Channel Kidaverse
Trading cards from the Kidaverse (Image credit: Genius Brands)

Genius Brands said it acquired Ameba TV and is using Ameba’s technology to launch the Kartoon Channel Kidaverse, an ad-free streaming subscription service for children on April 15.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Kartoon Channel Kidaverse will cost $3.99 a month. In addition to the programming from Genius’ Kartoon Channel!, the Kidaverse will feature custom avatars and emojis, games, VR goggles, collectible digital cards and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and a digital currency called Kidaverse MetaBuck$.

“Kartoon Channel! Kidaverse is expected to revolutionize children’s entertainment, because it will include all of the popular animated programs of a children’s channel, metaverse features and, most importantly, it will be fully curated and child safe,” Genius Brands chairman and CEO Andy Heyward said. “The single strongest message we receive from parents is the concern about safety for children on screens, whether it is program content or roaming around the internet and various apps. The premise of the Kartoon Channel! Kidaverse is to provide children with fun, positive, engaging digital media and to provide them with a safe and parent-controlled product.”

Jon Ollwerther, president of Kartoon Channel!, will oversee development of the Kartoon Channel! Kidaverse and its rollout across North America. Paul Robinson, former managing director of Disney Channels Worldwide and now managing director of Kartoon Channel! Worldwide, will lead the launch throughout the rest of the world.

“Ameba was the earliest independent kids’ streamer! We are thrilled to bring our technology, our content, and our team, to Kartoon Channel,” said Ameba founder Tony Havelka. “Together, we look forward to launching the next-generation platform for kids, embodying not just program content, but metaversal features and kid-safe messaging.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.