DHX to launch kid-focused SVOD service in U.S.

Kids Room, an ad-free OTT product, goes live this summer via Comcast's Xfinity X1.

DHX is the latest company getting into the SVOD business with its soon-to-be launched streaming platform Kids Room.

The Halifax-headquartered company revealed Tuesday that the ad-free OTT product, which will be available on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform, will go live this summer.

All of the content on the service will be taken from DHX’s 13,000-hour content library, including preschool series like Bob the BuilderFireman SamTeletubbies and Strawberry Shortcake. It will also debut with properties targeted at slightly older kids such as Slugterra (pictured), Kid vs. KatChuck’s ChoiceSabrinaThe Animated Series and Angela Anaconda. DHX said more series will be added to the service in the months ahead.

In a press release, DHX noted that X1 subscribers will be able to access the service by saying “kids room” into their X1 voice remote, or by finding it within the networks section of Xfinity on Demand. It will cost USD$4.99 a month.

While this is the first time DHX has formally unveiled the OTT product, it has been mulling the idea for some time. During an investor call in November, CEO Michael Donovan said the company was looking to combine its channel infrastructure and expertise in Canada with its vast library to create packaged channels that could be taken into the U.S., Latin America and other territories. The company has not indicated whether Kids Room will also be rolled out in Canada. DHX had not responded to Playback Daily‘s request for clarification by press time.

For its part, U.S. cable giant Comcast has also been evolving its X1 platform to include more kid-focused SVOD offerings. Among them is Disney Family Movies, Stingray Karaoke, Kidstream, PlayKids and TumbleBooks TV.

The announcement comes as DHX makes a number of significant changes to both its strategic focus and operational structure. Last September, following a year-long strategic review, the company said it was streamlining its content strategy to focus on producing fewer, higher-budgeted projects. Since then it has also reduced its production infrastructure, first selling its Halifax animation studio and later its Toronto production studio on Bartley Drive.