Sony buys into preschool SVOD service

Kids-logo-460_2HopsterSony Pictures Television has bought into preschool SVOD service Hopster.

That means Sony Pictures Television Networks takes a minority stake and a seat on the board in exchange for an undisclosed amount.

The investment came as part of an investment round, which SPTN led in association with Hopster’s largest existing shareholder, Sandbox Partners. The money will help the company with new ventures in content and marketing.

For SPT, buying into Hopster its latest step in kids TV after buying the Pop, Tiny Pop and Kix channels in June 2014.

Former channel controller Nick Walters launched Hopster in December 2013 as an SVOD service for preschoolers. Having debuted in the UK, it recently expanded into more than 100 territories.

“Hopster is a fantastic investment, supporting our growing SPT Networks kids’ offering which has seen Sony grow to become one of the top kids broadcasters in the UK,” said SPT’s executive VP, western Europe, international networks, Kate Marsh.

“This investment offers us an early mover advantage in the fast-growing subscription kids’ space, and is a real opportunity to increase our on-demand services, working with the Hopster team to grow digital scale alongside our linear channels.”

Walters said having Sony on board meant his company could reach “the next level”.

“Our vision is to build an end-to-end kids player and Sony’s global reach, existing kids portfolio, and technology presence makes them the perfect partner.

“We hope that together we can build on the success of our revolutionary new Apple TV app and recent US launch and establish Hopster as the world’s leading non-linear preschool kids player.”