Genius Brands Consolidates Consumer Platforms Under Newly Created ‘Genius Networks’
Veteran Media and Entertainment Executive Todd Steinman to be President, Genius Networks, Uniting Kartoon Channel!, Ameba TV, and Frederator Network, Under Steinman’s Oversight
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As Genius Brands International (“Genius Brands”) (NASDAQ: GNUS) continues to build its worldwide network of digital entertainment platforms, the leading global children’s media company announced today the creation of Genius Networks (“GN”), consolidating Kartoon Channel!, Frederator Network, and Ameba TV under the new banner. Concurrently, Genius Brands has promoted Todd Steinman to spearhead the newly created business unit as President, Genius Networks.
Genius Networks encompasses a broad digital content offering across the media landscape, including Ad-Free Subscription VOD (“SVOD”), Ad Supported VOD (“AVOD”), Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (“FAST”) channels, and a network of leading animation creators on the biggest digital platforms in the world (YouTube, Meta, TikTok), averaging over 1 billion views per month. Genius Brands launched Kartoon Channel! in 2020, and it has ranked as the top customer reviewed Apple App Store children’s streaming app ever since. In 2022, the Company acquired Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media, which brought Frederator Network to the Genius Brands’ family. Additionally Genius Brands acquired Ameba TV, a pioneering children’s Amazon Prime Video Channel and SVOD service.
“Consolidating our consumer platforms under Todd’s proven leadership, gives us the ability to grow our brands globally, increase revenue and maximize profits more quickly, as he has done in his previous roles with the Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers and WPP,” stated Genius Brands’ Chairman & CEO Andy Heyward. “There are an expanding number of opportunities to take advantage of, requiring a singular vision to achieve our ambitious goals, and Todd has an impeccable track record for developing and implementing profitable digital entertainment businesses. As we continue to grow, he will be focused on monetizing our brands and content in innovative ways to further propel Genius Brands as the global leader in children’s entertainment.”
Todd Steinman commented: “I’m thrilled to take the reins of the newly created Genius Networks and lead operations, content, monetization, and distribution to further accelerate the Company’s consumer facing goals. We have a very talented, innovative and committed team, and given the current breadth of our brands on a multitude of platforms, we are positioned to drive growth and enhance profitability for each of our brands. Growth must go hand in hand with profitability, and that will be my focus.”
Steinman, a veteran digital media and entertainment executive, joined Genius Brands last year as Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer for Kartoon Channel!. Prior to Genius Brands, he served as Vice President in the Direct to Consumer division at The Walt Disney Company, which included Disney+ during its launch. He helped create solutions to leverage Disney’s portfolio of network brands, including DISNEY, HULU, ESPN, ABC, FREEFORM, FX, and Nat Geo, while setting strategy for revenue teams. Previously, Steinman co-founded the digital media agency, M80, which provided digital media strategy, social media management and analytics to Fortune 500 companies. When M80 was acquired by WPP, Todd stayed on to lead the NBC Universal business where he negotiated multi-million-dollar media deals with Google/YouTube, Amazon, Disney, Twitter, Snapchat, Spotify, and others, while managing an annual budget north of $1 billion.
About Kartoon Channel!
Available everywhere and anywhere kids are today, Genius Brands’ Kartoon Channel! is a family entertainment destination that delivers 1000s of episodes of carefully curated and safe family-friendly content. The channel features animated classics for little kids, including The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Babar, Mellodees, Super Simple Songs, Finny the Shark, and Baby Genius, as well as hit content for bigger kids, such as Angry Birds and Yu-Gi-Oh!, to original programming like Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, KC! Pop Quiz, hosted by Casey Simpson, and Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal and Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, coming in 2023. Kartoon Channel! also offers STEM-based content through its Kartoon Classroom!, including Baby Genius, and more.
Kartoon Channel! is available across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android Mobile, Web, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Comcast, Cox, Dish, Sling TV, Android TV, Xumo, Tubi, Samsung and LG Smart TVs.
For more information, please visit www.kartoonchannel.com
Ameba is a children's video streaming service that is full of active, engaging and intelligent programming.
Our kids TV shows and kids music videos are designed to spark children’s curiosity, empower them to explore, and develop skills that will help them with school and prepare them for life.
Frederator is a pioneer in streaming video and a leading independent producer of animation for streaming services, linear television, and on-line video platforms, owning and operating the largest global animation network on YouTube, with channels that boast over 2000 exclusive creators and influencers and garnering over a billion views every month. Over the past 20 years, Frederator Studios has produced 19 series and more than 250 short films for and with partners including Netflix, Amazon, Google, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Sony Pictures Animation, and Cartoon Network, including Butch Hartman’s The Fairly OddParents on Nickelodeon, Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time on Cartoon Network and Natasha Allegri’s Bee and PuppyCat on Netflix. Frederator is a Genius Brands International, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNUS) company and has offices in Burbank, CA and New York, NY.
About Genius Brands International
Genius Brands International, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s IP portfolio of family-friendly content features the Stan Lee brand, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal, coming to Kartoon Channel!; Rainbow Rangers on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, on Netflix and more. This past year, Genius Brands also acquired Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media (TSX-V: WOW), which includes 2,500 channels under the Channel Frederator Network, and has also made a strategic investment in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment AG (FRA:RTV), one of Europe’s largest distributors and broadcasters of high-quality programs for children and families.
Genius Brands’ Kartoon Channel! is a globally distributed entertainment platform with 100% penetration in the U.S. television market and international expansion with launches in key markets around the world. The channel is available in the U.S. via a broad range of distribution platforms, including Comcast, Cox, DISH, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Apple iOS, Android TV, Android Mobil, Google Play, Roku, YouTube, KartoonChannel.com, Samsung Smart and LG TVs, the JetBlue Inflight platform and more.
For additional information, please visit www.gnusbrands.com.
Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares, which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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Released January 11, 2023