Multiplatform children’s media startup Pocket.watch has inked its second major long-term deal with a YouTube creator: Ryan Toys Review — the most-viewed U.S. channel on YouTube — which features a 6-year-old boy unboxing and playing with toys, and otherwise doing fun kid stuff with his family.
Ryan Toys Review, which launched in 2015, has amassed nearly 16 billion views to date and has 9.2 million subscribers, making it among the fastest-growing YouTube channels ever. In August 2017, it was the No. 1 U.S.-based channel on the video site, generating 721 million views for the month.
Ryan Toys Review was previously unaffiliated; the family keeps its identity and location private, although they appear to live in Southern California. “They have done an amazing job in two years to go from zero to 200 miles per hour,” said Pocket.watch chief strategy officer Jon Moonves.
The deal comes after Pocket.watch entered into a similar pact with HobbyKidsTV, a YouTube channel that also specializes in toy reviews. The company also has a deal with “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kenan Thompson for development and production of a live-action sketch comedy, “Pocket.watch Presents Skoogle.”
Under the deal with Ryan Toys Review, Pocket.watch is granting the family that runs the channel an equity stake in the company. The partnership includes a multiplatform franchise-development plan, with Pocket.watch planning to develop offshoots for Ryan Toys Review including books, apps, licensing and merchandising, and premium original content. Pocket.watch has rights to sell ads as well as branding and integration opportunities on behalf of Ryan Toys Review, and rights to sell content off YouTube.
“We have set out to work with brands that are breaking the mold in children’s entertainment and Ryan Toys Review is doing exactly that,” said Moonves, who is the brother of CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. “Ryan Toys Review has not only built a successful channel, but also a brand with a very unique point of view.”
Ryan’s father, Shion, said in a statement provided by the company, “Pocket.watch’s innovative business model and out-of-the-box vision for our brand was unlike anything we’d heard before. We have been courted heavily by a number of media companies in the past, but with Pocket.watch we know we have the right partners to bring Ryan Toys Review to entirely new heights.”
The deal was brokered on the Pocket.watch side by Williams, Moonves and head of partnerships Chase Landau. Ryan Toys Review was repped by Jason Russell of L.A.-based law firm Jacobson, Russell, Saltz, Nassim & de la Torre.
Pocket.watch was founded in March 2017 by CEO Chris M. Williams, formerly with Maker Studios and ex-GM of Disney Online Originals. The management team includes Moonves; chief content officer Albie Hecht, former head of Nickelodeon and HLN; and David B. Williams, previously with Maker Studios and Endemol Beyond USA.
The Culver City, Calif.-based company has raised $6 million from Allen DeBevoise’s Third Wave Digital, UTA, and angel investors including Les Moonves, Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Landau.