US: Amazon and Mattel create Fireman Sam content hub for kids

The hub will offer episode streaming alongside the chance to purchase related merchandise.
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Amazon and Hit Entertainment – a division of Mattel – are to create an Amazon.com content hub, to offer episodes of Fireman Sam alongside the chance to buy related toys, books, games and more.

The partnership marks the first of its kind for both Amazon and Mattel that if successful ‘could create a new model for marrying television shows with related merchandise.’

Until now, reports the New York Times, Amazon has kept its video streaming and retail businesses separate.

Fireman Sam episodes and its related merchandise will be sold exclusively through the internet giant, with around 75 episodes of the cartoon available by the end of the year.

Sid Mathur, Hit Entertainment vice president, said: “This allows us to test the boundaries of how a kids’ franchise can be activated.

“At the same time, it allows Amazon to transition from a place that simply fulfills consumer demand to one that also creates consumer demand.”

While the partnership champions the move as a way to make ‘parents’ lives easier,’ others are concerned what it could mean for the future of marketing to children.

“If the cartoon were to run on a traditional television channel, Mattel would be barred from placing ads for Fireman Sam toys during the show or adjacent to it,” said James McQuivey, a Forrester Research analyst.

However, Amazon expects children to access the cartoon through its walled services, such as Kindle Free time, offering children access to preselected shows, but prevents them from visiting Amazon’s retail pages or the broader web.

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