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Genius Brands Unveils Global Distribution Strategy for Kartoon Channel! Worldwide

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Managing Director Paul Robinson Announces Bold New Programming Block ‘KARTOON GENIUS’ on YFE International Channels

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genius Brands International, Inc. (“Genius Brands” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: GNUS) following the pending acquisition of Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. and strategic investment in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment AG (“YFE”) (FRA:RTV), has unveiled a bold new “block” of children’s animated series and expanded distribution for its international channels. The new lineup and branding is spearheaded by Kartoon Channel! Worldwide’s new Managing Director Paul Robinson, who previously served as Managing Director of Walt Disney Television International and Senior Vice President Disney Channel Worldwide.

The new block on the YFE International channels will be branded “KARTOON GENIUS” and will deliver positive entertainment for children, underscored by safety and enrichment.

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on the image or link below:

Genius Brands International, Inc.: Media Snippet
Genius Brands International, Inc.: Media Snippet

KARTOON GENIUS will air every morning on Genius Brands International’s new channel footprint across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, and is the first step in enhancing the quality and range of content on YFE’s existing platforms.

Genius Brands Chairman & CEO Andy Heyward stated, “With his background as Managing Director of Walt Disney Television International and his successful history setting up children’s content delivery systems worldwide, there is nobody in my opinion more qualified than Paul Robinson to build value for this company and create the next great global children’s distribution system.”

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on the image or link below:

Genius Brands International, Inc.: Paul Robinson, Managing Director
Genius Brands International, Inc.: Paul Robinson, Managing Director

Paul Robinson commented: “I am pleased to announce the first global initiative to enhance and deliver even better content and experiences to kids, families, and our affiliate partners across international markets through KARTOON GENIUS, a daily block of top quality, exclusive, branded, first run animated content, that will be defined by being not just entertaining, but also by being SAFE and ENRICHING. In today's world, more than ever, parents want to know that what their kids are watching on television is safe. We hear this over and over again, and Genius Brands is committed to fulfilling it not only as a producer, but also now as a global broadcaster through Kartoon Channel! Worldwide. There will be no violence, no inappropriate language, images, negative role models, or stereotypes. Kartoon Channel! in the U.S. has embraced these messages, which we plan to now elevate globally to the next level through our expanded lineup and increased distribution footprint across Europe/Middle East/Africa, Asia-Pacific, and South America. We believe that there is no other global channel system for children out there delivering this level quality of curated safe content today.”

Kartoon Genius’ new global lineup will include first run and exclusive content led by

  • Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger: health, exercise and nutrition

  • Rainbow Rangers: protecting the environment

  • Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club: financial literacy for kids

  • Albert: answering kid's questions, such as the origins of life and how things work

  • Space Yoghurt: creative problem solving and teamwork

  • Kids Songs: have fun, sing together and get up and dance

  • Reboot: adventures around the first fully computer-generated characters

Robinson added: “Kartoon Channel! Worldwide plans to grow the existing footprint of its YFE international channels by partnering across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australasia with pay tv platforms that currently don’t carry the channel and need a high quality, safe children’s channel. Additionally, as Kartoon Channel! has done in the U.S., we plan to expand distribution in the international markets on connected devices, smart TVs, tablets and mobile devices, with access through Android TV and Apple TV, as well as AVoD, SVoD and FAST channels in international markets.”

Heyward commented: “This launch immediately follows and builds upon the Company’s pending acquisition of WOW! Unlimited Media and strategic investment into YFE, as one of Europe’s largest distributors and broadcasters of high-quality programs for children and families. YFE brings a global award-winning streaming and broadcast footprint on satellite, cable, OTT, and terrestrial networks—providing us a streaming foothold outside the United States, in Europe, and the rest of the world. The vision of YFE’s CEO Stefan Piech, and the broadcast experience of COO Bernd Wendeln, enriches the Genius Brands’ management team and helps position the Company to become the leading children’s content provider and broadcaster in the future.”

About Genius Brands International
Genius Brands International, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s ‘content with a purpose’ portfolio includes Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal on Kartoon Channel!; Rainbow Rangers on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, on Netflix; award-winning toddler brand Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series Thomas Edison's Secret Lab; and entrepreneurship series Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club. Through licensing agreements with leading partners, characters from Genius Brands’ IP also appear on a wide range of consumer products for the worldwide retail marketplace. The Company’s Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom! are available in over 100 million U.S. television households via a broad range of distribution platforms, including Comcast, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Apple iOS, Android TV, Android Mobil, Google Play, Xumo, Roku, Tubi, YouTube, KartoonChannel.com, Samsung Smart TVs and LG TVs. For additional information, please visit www.gnusbrands.com.

Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares, which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

MEDIA CONTACT:
pr@gnusbrands.com

INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT:
ir@gnusbrands.com


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