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Gabba Gabba: Hey! It’s an Online Hit

Shows initially created for the pre-school set are finding bigger (and older) audiences online, as a story in AdAge notes. Take, for example, Yo Gabba Gabba, a puppet-filled show aimed at tots. Since its premier in June, the show has pulled in 4.4 million viewers on old teevee; clips of the show on, meanwhile, have racked up a gargantuan 17.8 million streams.

And it’s not just pre-schoolers and parents powering these online plays. College kids are also digging the show, and AdAge nails why:

“Gabba” is a “Pee Wee’s Playhouse”-esque variety show for the digital age, complete with musical guests so hip even Pitchfork would approve (the Shins, Biz Markie, Mark Mothersbaugh and Cornelius, to name a few).

Other Nick shows are generating big buzz online and beyond the core demo as well. The kid network’s iCarly has a big following on the web, Avatar‘s message boards have pulled in 17.5 million views so far and The Naked Brothers Band is outselling Jennifer Lopez…wait, that’s not hard to do anymore.

Gabba isn’t the first kid’s show to become a crossover hit with older audiences, the already-mentioned Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Animaniacs come to mind. But the advantage Nick has over it’s predecessors is, obviously, the web. It can extend beyond television in ways Pee-Wee never could. Message boards, video mashups, MP3s of songs — all of which can be monetized.

AdAge interviewed the Pam Kaufman, Nick’s chief marketing officer, to find out more about the shows’ Internet successes:

Shows such as “iCarly” and “Avatar” each were conceived with online components and a unique set of success metrics. “It’s not just about page views or visitors. We also get our measurement from the message boards,” Ms. Kaufman said.

More importantly, Nick realizes the very basic idea that many content creators still don’t understand — just create a good show, the audience will follow.

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