iQIYI, Inc., an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, announced that its original CG-animated series, Deer Squad, in collaboration with Nickelodeon International and VIS Kids, a division of ViacomCBS International Studios, will premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. on January 25th, 2021. The airing of Deer Squad in the US market is a testament to the high quality of this iQIYI original animation and marks the successful entry of Chinese animation into an international market.
Nickelodeon International aired Deer Squad across Asia in August 2020, including on iQIYI's platform in China. The show premiered in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK later in the year. It was the #1 show in the Philippines amongst kids 2-14, ranked Nick Jr. as the #1 STV channel in Australia among kids 0-4 during Deer Squad premieres2, and averaged +148% in the UK compared to the timeslot benchmark3. It is scheduled to air in Europe and Africa in March 2021.
Created with a global audience in mind, Deer Squad is a successful attempt for iQIYI to enter the international animation market with its own animation IP. iQIYI initiated the cooperation with the Nickelodeon International and ViacomCBS International Studio (VIS) Kids teams, collaborating throughout the entire production process and providing crucial feedback to help bridge the cultural gap between Chinese and international audiences. This innovative in-depth collaboration model has provided new avenues and possibilities for domestic animation to travel beyond its own shores.
Yang Xiaoxuan, Vice President of iQIYI and Head of Original Animation and Investment, said, "Deer Squad is a major breakthrough for iQIYI's development of original children's animation, creatively supervised by Nickelodeon. We appreciate Nickelodeon's international broadcasting strategy on the show, and it is great news that we have achieved No.1 in viewership in many regions. We hope that there will be more Chinese original animations to go international."
Nina Hahn, Senior Vice President of International Production & Development for Nickelodeon International and Head of VIS Kids, stated, "We first partnered with iQIYI on the series with a worldwide audience in mind. We're incredibly proud to see this original pre-school series become the first global Chinese-originated collaborative project as we further our commitment to developing kids-first content from around the world."
iQIYI has been expanding its global resources and partnerships in the children's animation space in recent years, working with renowned animation houses to provide premium content. In the future, iQIYI will deliver on its commitment of creating high-quality and original IPs and look to further expand its IP industry chain by hosting events and developing spin-offs and merchandise.