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Kevin Mayer Details Candle Media Strategy Unveils Partnership – Deadline

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Candle Media Founder Kevin Mayer has set out his strategy to take advantage of the wealth of deep-pocketed new buyers, as he unveils a tie-up between kids powerhouse Moonbug Entertainment and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.

Blackstone-backed Candle owns both CoComelon owner Moonbug and Hello Sunshine and, delivering a Mip TV keynote this afternoon, the former Disney exec told an audience of TV execs and press that “synergies” between their owned companies are a big part of his and fellow Candle Founder Tom Stagg’s plan.

With that in mind, Hello Sunshine and Moonbug are working on a “new product” that takes advantage of Hello Sunshine’s pre-existing position in the global book space due to Reese’s Book Club and Moonbug’s “huge inbuilt audience to promote new programing.”

Mayer was scarce with details but said the show will be launched in the next few months.

“We are piecing together companies and thinking about where there are synergies,” he added, stating that other opportunites for these synergies will likely present themselves over time.

The group has a 10% stake in Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook and owns Fauda producer Faraway Road Productions.

Alongside Moonbug Co-Founder René Rechtman, he talked up the London-headquartered outfit’s ability to leverage IP across social media, YouTube and the streaming services.

Since Candle acquired Moonbug for nearly $3BN, CoComelon has more than doubled its YouTube subscriber base to 140M, becoming YouTube’s most-subscribed channel, while Netflix spin-offs have been lucrative. The CoComelon Netflix show was the second most-streamed on the platform last year, across all genres not just children’s.

“You don’t have to go out and sell this very hard,” said Mayer. “René and the team know exactly how to increase reach, dynamism and multi-platform so we’re in an enviable position where people come to us to buy our product.”

Mayer hinted at more acquisitions and detailed why Candle stands out in the market.

“We’re creating a new definition of what a media company is,” he added. “We don’t have our own streamer so are independent and that facet of our strategy is so important. Demand [for content] will grow extremely robustly and if you’re independent in this way there’s not a huge amount of us out there so I like our chances.”

He also harked back to his time as one of the early creative forces behind Disney+, which became a “distribution mechanism” as it geared up for launch.

Mayer said he learned that “brands, audience focus and franchises really matter” during his time developing the streamer and launching shows such as The Mandalorian. 

Mip TV is running until Wednesday and Sony’s Wayne Garvie will deliver a keynote later alongside Bad Wolf’s Jane Tranter.



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