Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Data: Parrot Analytics; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Kids and family programming deals are surging as streaming companies look to double down on content that serves a highly-engaged cohort of younger users.

Why it matters: Kids content used to be perceived as a tool to stop users from cancelling streaming accounts. Now it's a key driver for new user growth.

  • "I think the big thing they (streamers) have realized is that the value of kids and family content goes beyond retention," said Chris Williams, founder and CEO of Pocketwatch Inc., a kids content firm.
  • ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish told investors on an earnings call last week that kids and family content "was the top genre on Paramount+ for both acquisition and engagement in the quarter." Bakish cited titles like SpongeBob Squarepants and PAW Patrol as being "a key attraction to the service."

Driving the news: Pocketwatch has hired financial advisory firm Lazard as it explores potential new investments or a possible sale.

  • The firm, which has exclusive licensing and production deals with major kids YouTube franchises, has received inbound interest about a possible sale as well as new investment, according to two sources familiar with the company's business. The Wall Street Journal reported about the effort last week.
  • Recent activity in the space has prompted more investors to eye kids content companies, particularly ones focused on children's franchises on YouTube.
  • In September, Pocketwatch brought on Xavier Kochhar, a former strategy executive AT&T and HBO Max, to help it navigate next steps for growth.
  • The company, which launched only five years ago, has raised just $21 million to-date. It last raised $15 million in 2018, in a series B round led by Viacom.

Be smart: Pocketwatch's digital franchises are considered some of the most lucrative intellectual property for kids on the internet.

  • Merchandise from the Ryan's World franchise, formerly called Ryan's ToysReview, generated more than $250 million in sales in 2020. With 30.8 million subscribers, Ryan's World is one of the most popular kids YouTube Channels in the world.
  • Last year, Pocketwatch inked a deal with Diana, the seven-year-old Ukrainian YouTube sensation whose series, "Kids Diana Show," is one of the most subscribed-to YouTube channels in the world. With the deal, Pocketwatch launched a new series called "Love, Diana," and product slate.

The big picture: The streaming arms-race has put a premium on digital content studios, particularly those that cater to kids programming.

  • Moonbug Entertainment, the UK-based digital content company that's home to the YouTube streaming hit "Cocomelon," sold for roughly $3 billion last week to an unnamed media company backed by Blackstone and led by former Disney executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer, Deadline reported on Monday.
  • Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC), the UK-based firm that owns and manages the rights of the storied works from the late British author Roald Dahl, was acquired by Netflix in September.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks owner Bagdasarian Productions has engaged in sale talks, per CNBC, including with big streamers like ViacomCBS.

What to watch: YouTube has proven a breeding ground for streamers looking to adopt franchises that can easily sell toys and other products.

  • Moonbug acquired kids YouTube sensations Cocomelon and Blippi in 2020 and raised $120 million to fuel more likeminded acquisitions.
  • Williams noted that the recent Moonbug sale "strikes to the thesis of a lot of parts of our enterprise as well."

By the numbers: In the last month, three of the top 15 shows across all streaming platforms have been children's series, according to Parrot Analytics, a company that measures demand for video content.

Go deeper: Disney+ ushers in streaming war for kid-friendly content

Go deeper

Roblox sues YouTuber over “terrorist threats”

Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Roblox Corporation is suing a YouTuber for breach of contract and fraud.

Details: Social gaming platform Roblox is seeking $1,650,000 in damages against content creator Benjamin Robert Simon ("Ruben Sim"), alleging that he is the leader of a "cybermob" and "commits and encourages unlawful acts designed to injure Roblox and its users."

Senate Republicans shrug off debt default deadline

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before House members Wednesday. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans are feeling far more relaxed about the impending Dec. 15 federal debt-default deadline this time around, with many suggesting the real drop-dead date isn't until January.

Why it matters: Their attitude toward the deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is distinctively different from the hair-on-fire rhetoric before the initial Oct. 18 date. But a Congress discounting the advice of a Treasury secretary is risky financial practice — and has the potential to affect markets itself.

GOP fights itself on shutting down government over vaccine mandates

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.