TVO taps Chinese market via mobile

Partnering with Waterloo-based mobile education company ClevrU, the company will provide video from TVOKids programs like Melvin's Marvellous Words (pictured) as educational content for children and students in China.

TVO has partnered with Waterloo-based mobile education company ClevrU to bring TVOKids content to mobile phone users in China via its on-demand, multimedia e-teaching platform.

“[The partnership with ClevrU] allows us to repurpose existing digital assets for an entirely new audience that we know has a tremendous thirst for quality educational content. This innovative new initiative has the potential to drive an entirely new revenue stream for TVO that will support the delivery of our educational mandate in Ontario,” said TVO CEO Lisa de Wilde in a statement.

“Smartphone use in China is exploding and parents are looking for quality educational experiences for their children,” said ClevrU president Dana Fox, president, in his own statement. “TVO’s reputation for trusted educational content for kids makes TVO an ideal partner in this new venture.”

TVO, presented in China as the Ontario Educational Communications Authority under the brand Learn English, is providing more than 430 videos from TVOKids programs to teach children how to read, write and spell, which will be complemented with printable resources and follow-along Chinese-language slides.

Programs to be used in the mobile learning initiative include TVO’s Melvin’s Marvellous Words (pictured) and Alphabet Goop.

The content will first be tested to a group of China Unicom (state-owned  Chinese telecom) subscribers in Beijing, with a plan to expand to ClevrU’s other marketing partners. The Learn English content is currently available for free, with ClevrU to add e-commerce capabilities in the coming months.

The TVO-ClevrU partnership comes as Ontario’s public educational organization looks for new business models to monetize digital content and boost self-generated revenues.