Former Crackle Chief Preps New Free, Advert-Supported Streamer for Youngsters

Eric Berger, who oversaw Sony’s crackle streaming platform prior to its sale in 2019, is getting back into the AVOD business.

For his first project since leaving Sony this summer as CEO of Common Sense Networks, Berger will launch Sensical – a free, ad-supported streaming platform for children between the ages of 2 and 12 – early next year.

The platform will feature 15,000 short videos, all of which have been reviewed by people trained in child development to ensure that the content complies with parent company Common Sense Media guidelines. Thousands of more videos are added every month.

Sensical’s ad load is less than seven minutes per hour and the number of ad pods is limited to two minutes. There will be content and category exclusions, and Common Sense Networks will implement sponsored content practices so as not to confuse children about the mix of ads and content.

“Sensical’s mission is to awaken children’s passions, arouse curiosity, build bridges between children and their parents, and do every part of the learning journey. As a free platform that only offers age-based tariffs, we’re removing all barriers to accessing a comprehensive, trusted short video entertainment resource from the best possible content creators. Every family can afford to add Sensical to their personal package and we couldn’t be more excited to create a distinctive alternative for parents and work with them to raise good people, ”Berger said in a statement.

The streamer will debut on “all major OTT platforms” early next year, the company said. The content will include shows like The Wiggles, The Aquabats and Pinky Dinky Doo from Sesame Workshop.

Last summer, Berger left Sony Pictures Television, where he most recently served as Chief Digital Officer and Head of Direct to Consumer, to become CEO of Common Sense Networks. The company is a for-profit subsidiary of Common Sense Media and is focused on creating and distributing high quality media experiences for children.

At Sony, Berger was responsible for the Crackle AVOD platform until March 2019, when the company sold a majority stake in the streamer to Chicken Soup for Soul Entertainment.

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