In the big boys' world of SVOD services 'one of these kids is doing his own thing' and that kid is Sesame Workshop. The non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, has unveiled Sesame GO, a new subscription video on demand (SVoD) service that delivers full-length TV episodes of Sesame Street online. Subscription costs $3.99 per month or $29.99 per year and the programs are ad-free as well as fully optimized for viewing across all screens, powered by the Kaltura MediaGo OTT Solution.
Kids with adult supervision can watch the latest full-length TV episodes of Sesame Street, plus hundreds of episodes from prior seasons. It includes Sesame Classics Volume 1 and 2 and the early seasons of Pinky Dinky Doo, the animated series for children produced by Sesame Workshop and Cartoon Pizza, that uses storytelling and games to guide the characters through lessons in vocabulary and problem solving.
However, Sesame Workshop has already licensed a large amount of it's content to other SVODs such as Netflix and Amazon as well as DVRs (great for downloading content for long car trips), so in addition to the extra content how will it survive as a standalone?
The answer probably lies in the user interface that's been developed specifically for kids, 'customized with “little hands in mind,' the company says. Bigger buttons and brighter colors should make it easier for kids to find their own way around the service. If the kids can navigate easily to the content then the parents will be happy to make the switch.
Sesame Workshop seem to have calculated that youngsters want to be independent in terms or device and time when watching their favorite episodes - but the service does have the limitation of only one stream at a time will directly impact their demographic where more than one kid in the family is wanting to watch. Add to this the fact that there is no mobile native app (kids are very used to using an app to access games on mobile devices) and it's not available on connected TVs yet, means there may be a slower take up rate than they hope for.
But if anyone can pull this off in the family market then Sesame stands the best chance to date. Besides Elmo and the Cookie Monster have a strong following with parents who deeply trust the brand from their days of watching when they were just kids too. If only all education was as much fun as Sesame Street.
Visit Sesame GO for details of the service and how to get a free two week trial. And because we can't get enough of Elmo, here he is in one of the most popular Sesame Street clips ever.