"Arpo" "Arpo"

Moonbug was only founded in 2018, and already it claims to be “amongst the largest digital kids’ intellectual property owners in the world.” It’s just got a little bit larger, thanks to its acquisition of the South Korean animated series Arpo.

The Youtube show follows the exploits of Arpo, a commando robot-turned-nanny, and Baby Daniel, the curious boy he cares for. It has two million subscribers and gets 100 million monthly views.

Capitalizing on its huge following, Moonbug is producing 26 episodes, each three-and-a-half minutes long, for the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and of course Youtube. Twelve episodes have already launched, with the rest to follow throughout the year.

This is a fairly good overview of what Moonbug does. The company, which is headquartered in London and L.A., has made a business out of acquiring “fun and safe content” for preschoolers and building these properties up, creating spin-off shows, merchandise, and other brand extensions. Its shows end up on major streaming platforms, from Netflix to Hulu.

Moonbug’s first acquisition was Little Baby Bum, a Youtube channel with close to 23 billion views. Since then, it has snapped up around a dozen shows, including My Magic Pet Morphle (five billion views) and Go Buster (355 million). The company stresses its commitment to shows that teach “compassion, empathy, and resilience,” and it is looking to expand into Asia this year.

Arpo fits the bill. As the company puts it, “With light dialogue, the show’s relatable content helps children around the globe build an understanding of non-verbal communication like body language and facial expressions, and promotes life skills such as friendship, consideration of others, and cooperation.”

As concerns grow about the propriety of kids’ content on Youtube, Moonbug is demonstrating one way to professionalize the sector. Fueled by a $145-million funding round and led by executives formerly at Disney, Netflix, and Paramount, the company means business.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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