PocketWatch (company)

PocketWatch, Inc. (stylized as is a digital media studio that specializes in extending kids and family YouTube stars and characters into global franchises. With offices and a studio located in Culver City, Los Angeles, California, the company was founded in 2017 by Chris M. Williams.[1] A funding led by Third Wave Digital with participation from additional investors and prominent angels including Jon Landau, UTA Ventures, the venture arm of United Talent Agency (UTA), Robert Downey Jr. (Downey Ventures) and Chris Jacquemin (Partner, Head of Digital Media, WME).[2]
GenreChildren and family
FounderChris M. Williams



As the entertainment industry shifts into the digital space, PocketWatch has evolved out of the Social media influencer movement.[3] PocketWatch was at the forefront of specifically targeting Generation Alpha (individuals born after 2010) who are migrating towards digital media platforms like YouTube.[4] Allen DeBevoise of Third Wave Digital has described PocketWatch as the company to "transform the kids’ digital entertainment space".[5] Founded by Chris M. Williams, the former Chief Audience Officer of Maker Studios and former GM of Disney Online Originals.[6]

Variety recognized Williams as one of their Digital Innovators in 2019 and he was a finalist in the 2019 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition.[7] PocketWatch has expanded their executive team with veterans from kids and family entertainment and other relevant industries adding Albie Hecht, the former head of Nickelodeon Studios as Chief Content Officer, Kerry Tucker, the former CEO of Hello Sunshine and lead marketing executive at Martha Stewart Living and Victoria's Secret, as Chief Marketing Officer, [8] as well as Hollywood veterans Brian Robbins, President of Kids and Family entertainment at ViacomCBS, and Beatriz Acevedo, founder of online video network Mitu [9] [10] as Board Members for the company. [11] [12]


In April 2017, PocketWatch signed HobbyKidsTV as their first creator partner.[13] HobbyKids specializes in toy play, outdoor activities and other family-oriented content across 10 YouTube channels that have generated 7.5 billion views.[14]

In August 2017, PocketWatch teamed up with Viacom and SNL star, Kenan Thompson to develop a live-action scripted comedy show for kids Skoogle.[15] Later that year, partnered with the creator of The Fairly OddParents, Butch Hartman, to develop three original animated series, including one based on HobbyKidsTV.[16]

In August 2017, PocketWatch signed Captain Sparklez, a video-game and entertainment channel created and run by Jordan Maron, a YouTube personality.[17]

In September 2017, the studio signed a long-term partnership with Ryan ToysReview. Ryan ToysReview is the most-viewed kids and family creator channel on YouTube in the United States and, according to Forbes magazine, was YouTube's highest-earning influencer in 2018, estimated to have earned $22 million.[18]

In September 2017, PocketWatch signed EvanTubeHD and his family, primarily focused on the brother-sister combination of Evan and Jillian, the stars of the channel.[19] Their videos have evolved since originally launching as a toy channel and one of the best-known examples of the unboxing trend, in which kids open up new toys on camera.[20] Now the channel primarily consists of challenges, gameplay and other formats that feature the comradery and rivalry between Evan and Jillian. Their parents also frequently appear in videos as well.[citation needed]

Since its launch, PocketWatch has continued to expand its reach beyond YouTube into publishing, television, film, and consumer goods. In November 2017, PocketWatch partnered with Simon & Schuster to publish children's books under a PocketWatch branded imprint and launched their first two books, Watch this Book! and Meet Ryan! in the winter of 2018.[21]


In February 2018, PocketWatch collaborated with Ryan ToysReview to create Ryan's World, a consumer products brand based on Ryan and a portfolio of characters created by Ryan and his parents. The first consumer products licensees for Ryan's World were The Bentex Group and Bonkers Toys.[22] PocketWatch has also secured international licensing deals with licensing agencies and media companies in the U.K., Australia, and other countries expanding the line globally.[23]

In August 2018, Ryan's World, launched exclusively at Walmart. The line included a giant golden mystery egg that sold out in 10 minutes on Black Friday 2018.[24]

In October 2018, PocketWatch launched 90 22-minute episodes of repackaged content from their YouTube creator partners on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video and partnered with Paramount Pictures to license them to international distributors.[25]


PocketWatch unveiled 40 new licensing partnerships. The expansion of Ryan's World's licensing program was anchored by new licensees, including Just Play, Jada Toys, Kids Preferred, American Greetings, and Zak Designs and spanned new categories, including Halloween costumes, party goods, social expressions, sleepwear, backpacks, lunch kits and accessories, hydration, furniture, and home goods.[26]

In January 2019, PocketWatch launched its gaming division P.W Games with their first mobile game in partnership with WildWorks,[27] Tag With Ryan, a free-to-play, endless runner game featuring the likeness of Ryan and the many characters of Ryan's World.[28] The game has been downloaded more than 5 million times since launching.

PocketWatch created, produced and launched their first television series Ryan's Mystery Playdate, a live-action show for preschoolers on Nickelodeon April 19, 2019.[29] Ryan's Mystery Playdate launched to successful ratings and was renewed for a second season five days after the premiere on April 24.[30] It has since become the number one series on television for preschoolers in the U.S.[31]

In May 2019, PocketWatch signed deals with YouTube channels MarMar and Onyx Family to launch new programming.[32]

In June 2019, PocketWatch launched HobbyKids Adventures, an original animated series created by Butch Hartman and based on their creator partners HobbyKidsTV, on YouTube.[33]

In June 2019, PocketWatch partnered with Hardee's, as they relaunched their Star Pals kids meals after an eight-year hiatus with Ryan's World themed meals and an exclusive line of toys designed by Ryan ToysReview.[34]

In July 2019, PocketWatch, under their P.W Games division, and Oufloat_right Games announced a partnership to release Race With Ryan the first ever console game to be released as part of Ryan's World, on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC in November 2019.[35]


On February 2020, PocketWatch launched their advertising agency, focused on child-targeted advertising across YouTube, mobile gaming and OTT channels.[36]


In July 2018, Viacom raised $15 million in Series B for PocketWatch.[37]

Creative partners


  1. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 22, 2017). "Kids' Media Startup Pocketwatch Raises $6 Million From Investors Including Leslie Moonves, Jon Landau, UTA" . Variety. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  2. ^ Pocketwatch. "Pocketwatch Announces $6M In Series A Funding To Launch The Ultimate Kids Media Brand" . Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  3. ^ May 6, CBS News; 2018; Am, 9:57. "The rise of social media influencers" . CBS News. Retrieved March 12, 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ " CEO on the business of kidfluencers" . Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  5. ^ Calvario, Liz (March 22, 2017). "Chris Williams, Albie Hecht & Jon Moonves Announce Pocketwatch, New Media Brand Catered To Kids" . Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  6. ^ Calvario, Liz (March 22, 2017). "Chris Williams, Albie Hecht & Jon Moonves Announce Pocketwatch, New Media Brand Catered To Kids" . Deadline. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  7. ^ "EY announces finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019 award in Greater Los Angeles" . Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  8. ^ Spangler, Todd (June 12, 2019). "Kerry Tucker Joins as First CMO for Kids Media Startup" . Variety. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Spangler, Todd (April 26, 2017). "Startup Signs YouTube's HobbyKidsTV as First Creative Partner" . Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  14. ^ Ellis, Emma Grey (May 20, 2019). "HobbyKidsTV, YouTube, and the New World of Child Stars" . Wired. ISSN 1059-1028 . Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  15. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 1, 2017). "Kenan Thompson To Produce New Kids Comedy Sketch Show 'Skoogle' With 'All That' Team" . Deadline. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  16. ^ "Butch Hartman to Create Three Series for" . Animation World Network. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  17. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 22, 2017). "YouTube Creators CaptainSparklez, EvanTube Sign With Kid-Media Startup" . Variety. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  18. ^ Berg, Madeline. "How This 7-Year-Old Made $22 Million Playing With Toys" . Forbes. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  19. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 22, 2017). "YouTube Creators CaptainSparklez, EvanTube Sign With Kid-Media Startup" . Variety. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  20. ^ Eror, Aleks (November 24, 2017). "Making Sense of the Strange YouTube Unboxing Trend" . Vice. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  21. ^ .
  22. ^ "Return to Ryan's World with These New Mystery Toys" . The Toy Insider. January 9, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  23. ^ "Nickelodeon Strikes Ryan ToysReview Int'l Merchandise Deal Amid Bet on Social Media Influencers" . The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  24. ^ "Walmart scores lucrative win with 7-year-old millionaire YouTube star" . Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  25. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 11, 2018). "Hulu, Amazon Stream Kids Shows Featuring YouTube Stars (EXCLUSIVE)" . Variety. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  26. ^ " Grows Ryan's World Licensing Program To Include Over 40 Licensees Worldwide" . (Press release). Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  27. ^ "02/05/19: FX orders post-apocalyptic series Y" . Cynopsis Media. February 5, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  28. ^ "Tag with Ryan: A SuperParent First Look" . SuperParent. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  29. ^ "Nickelodeon Unboxes Playful New Preschool Series "Ryan's Mystery Playdate," Starring YouTube Superstar Ryan of Ryan Toys" (Press release). Nickelodeon. March 27, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019 – via The Futon Critic.
  30. ^ Petski, Denise (April 24, 2019). "'Ryan's Mystery Playdate' Renewed For Season 2 By Nickelodeon Amid Strong Ratings" . Deadline. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  31. ^ "Nickelodeon Unveils Ryan's Mystery Playdate, Brand-New Preschool Series Starring YouTube Superstar Ryan of Ryan ToysReview" . February 14, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  32. ^ Spangler, Todd (May 13, 2019). " Sets Projects With MarMar, Onyx Family and Other YouTube Creators" . Variety. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  33. ^ " Plans Animated Series, Product Licensing Barrage For HobbyKidsTV Brand" . Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  34. ^ Wiener-Bronner, Danielle. "First on CNN Business: Hardee's partners with child YouTube star to relaunch kids' meals" . CNN. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  35. ^ "First Ryan's World Video Game Race With Ryan Coming To Switch" . NintendoSoup. February 4, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  36. ^ Tuchow, Ryan (February 25, 2020). " launches ad agency" . Kidscreen. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  37. ^ Spangler, Todd (January 16, 2019). "Variety's Digital Innovators 2019: The Trailblazers Pushing Media Boundaries" . Variety. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  38. ^ Spangler, Todd (April 26, 2017). "Startup Signs YouTube's HobbyFamilyTV as First Creative Partner" . Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  39. ^ Moss, Caroline. "This 8-Year-Old Makes $1.3 Million A Year By Posting YouTube Videos" . Business Insider. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  40. ^ Grothaus, Michael (May 4, 2015). "Meet The Father-Son Team Making $1.3 Million On YouTube" . Fast Company. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  41. ^

External links


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