Nick Jr

Nick’s Noggin acquires Sparkler, names new EVP

Author: Nickandmore!



NEW YORK–March 29, 2019– In a move that further expands the educational value of Nickelodeon’s Noggin, the network has acquired Sparkler, an early childhood learning technology platform, and has installed its co-founder Kristen Kane as the new leader for the direct-to-consumer preschool subscription service.  Noggin is Nickelodeon’s ad-free, video subscription service with educational content currently featuring over 1,500 iconic, full-length library episodes, short-form videos, Spanish-language videos, and music videos featuring preschoolers’ favorite characters and more.

Sparkler is an early learning platform that measures child development and delivers personalized content and coaching to parents to improve child outcomes.  Over the next year, Sparkler’s technology will be integrated into Noggin’s platform, enabling parents to guide and support their kids’ continued growth and development through engaging, playable content and experiences on and off screen, with personalized features that track progress over time.

Kane, in the new role of Noggin’s Executive Vice President, will oversee the integration of Sparkler and drive Noggin’s strategy and next phase of development as an educational digital platform.  She will be based in New York and report to Nickelodeon President Brian Robbins.

Said Robbins: “Pairing Sparkler’s capabilities with our curriculum-driven content will fully transform Noggin into a premier interactive learning destination for preschoolers and their families.  Kristen brings extensive experience in the education and technology space, and she will help drive Noggin’s growth with an increased focus on delivering even greater value to our direct-to-consumer service.”

Subject to the terms of the transaction, Sparkler’s work with schools, healthcare providers, and social services providers will continue through a new non-profit organization called Sparkler Learning, and Viacom will support its mission of helping families give their children a strong start in life through partnerships with educators, doctors, and others serving young families.

Previously, Kane was the founding COO of Amplify, an education technology company dedicated to collaborating with educators to create learning experiences for students K-12.  Prior to that, she was COO of the New York City Department of Education in the Bloomberg administration, responsible for the implementation of reforms and oversight of daily operations.  Kane also served at the Federal Communications Commission, where she led the development of strategies for applying broadband technologies in the education, healthcare, and energy sectors.

Noggin subscriptions have grown by triple digits year over year from 2017 to 2018, and the service is currently available for iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Android, Fire tablet and Roku devices, as well as on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels and The Roku Channel.  With over 30 series to date, including current titles like PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Peppa Pig, and Bubble Guppies, Noggin’s lineup also features classic favorites such as Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues, Team Umizoomi and  Yo Gabba Gabba!

Since its launch in 2015, Noggin has consistently ranked at the top of the charts in the Family and Kids categories, and it is one of the Top 10 Kids Apps on the Free Apps chart on the App Store, in addition to being the number-one grossing app for Music and Video in the Family Category on Google Play.  Noggin was also selected by Apple as an Apple TV app of the year.

Nickelodeon, now in its 39th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated kids’ basic cable network for 22 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).