04 April 2014

Innovative programming schedule caters to children’s learning needs and introduces multi-screen engagement opportunity

Singapore, 4 April 2014 – Beach House Pictures and StarHub today unveiled the Singapore debut of ZooMoo on StarHub TV, Asia’s first kids channel fully dedicated to wildlife. Produced in conjunction with sister company NHNZ, and a partnership with Wildlife Reserves Singapore, ZooMoo features puppetry, animations, games, music, puzzles and activities to create a unique viewing and learning experience for little viewers.

The channel was launched together with a fully synchronised second screen application that allows ZooMoo viewers to automatically collect every animal they encounter on the TV screen and bring them to life on their tablet or smart phone. The revolutionary ZooMoo second screen app opens a world of interactive activities, where the tablet becomes an extension of the channel, enhancing the viewing experience. The app is available for free download from the App Store and Google Play.

ZooMoo was developed by David Haslingden, former President of Fox Networks Group. In 2012, he identified a gap in the channel market for pre-school-aged children. Leveraging on production companies Beach House Pictures and NHNZ rich tradition in natural history programming, he set out to build the World’s first kids channel dedicated to animals.

“Our expertise and passion is all about nature and the natural world. Kids everywhere have a natural affection and interest in these things too – but there were no channels that provided a home for them to experience them.  So we came up with ZooMoo - the first ever kids channel devoted entirely to animals. Our audience might be young, but they are already very digital savvy – so we made sure that ZooMoo was also the first channel of any kind to be fully synchronised with an evolving digital game for phones and tablets.” said David, Chief Executive Officer of ZooMoo Networks.

Tan Tong Hai, Chief Executive Officer of StarHub said: “We are happy to be the first to bring ZooMoo to families in Singapore. With its second screen companion app, ZooMoo provides an interactive experience which is both fun and educational for children and their parents. We don’t just want to delight our customers; we want to inspire them to keep on learning. Hence, we are constantly working with trusted partners such as Beach House Pictures to build up a holistic suite of educational content and services for our customers”.

The ‘science’ behind the programming

ZooMoo uses an innovative approach to programming that is built around kids’ learning needs. Each hour of programming is broken up into five activity zones, with each zone comprised of short segments of between one to three minutes. The activity zones are – Explore time, Play time, Create time, Puzzle time and Quiet time. This approach to programming, devised by educational experts, is critical for learning and skill-building in kids. It provides a structure in-tune with their sense of time, attention span and ability to learn new information.

To ensure that ZooMoo was created to be an appropriate learning environment for children, the production and interactive team have an educational advisory board from the University of Otago led by Professor Jeff Smith A.B. (Princeton) Ph.D. (Chicago). The team identified five conceptual elements as key learning ingredients for kids – Teamwork (socialisation and belonging), Solving problems (creative thinking), Overcoming obstacles (confidence and will to succeed), Patterns and relational learning (organising and storing information) and Questions and discussion (reinforcing experiences).

Local content, international standards

For Singapore company Beach House Pictures, the launch of the channel has given them a unique opportunity to be involved at every level of the development. Managing Director, Jocelyn Little believes ZooMoo is important to the company’s growth  “As our team is producing over 40% of the content for ZooMoo in Singapore, we have significantly expanded our Beach House Kids division. Building our capabilities across live-action, animation and puppetry now gives us the experience to produce quality kids content for the international market.”

The Singapore ZooMoo team has been working in collaboration with Wildlife Reserves Singapore and has had unprecedented access to their four parks; Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. With this access, ZooMoo has been able to produce an amazing library of over 100 hours of footage specifically shot for ZooMoo.

Lee Meng Tat, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We congratulate Beach House Pictures and NHNZ on the launch of ZooMoo. Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks are living, learning classrooms, and we advocate conservation education in all that we do. These past months, the ZooMoo characters have called our parks home, and it is heartening to see them tell the stories of the real animals, specifically to kids. This partnership with ZooMoo is a wonderful fit as together, we are able to create greater awareness of the natural environment around us. Hopefully, this will inspire future generations to play a greater role in conservation.”

The ZooMoo App

The ZooMoo App was created by Dr. George Sealy working together with Civolution’s cutting edge digital watermarking and fingerprinting applications for media. Dr. Sealy commented:  “ZooMoo is the first channel designed from its inception with the goal of co-existing on a synchronised basis across multiple screens.  This allows us to use the unique characteristics and functionalities of different screens to tailor the way we make the wonders of our animal kingdom entertaining and informative for young audiences all over the World.  I’d like to pay particular tribute to our technology providers at Civolution for providing the revolutionary watermarking technology that makes this all possible”.

ZooMoo on StarHub TV Channel 306

ZooMoo is available on StarHub TV Channel 306 in both Standard and High Definition (HD). Parents can also take learning on the go with StarHub TV Anywhere on their laptops, tablets and smartphones. A free preview will be held for all StarHub TV subscribers for six weeks, until 15 May 2014. Thereafter, StarHub TV customers can continue to enjoy the channel for $6.42 (w/GST) per month. A HD set-top box is required to view the channel in HD.

For more information, please visit www.starhub.com/zoomoo.