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Genius Brands’ “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten” Surpasses 9 Million Views on Kartoon Channel!

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Schwarzenegger and Exciting Storyline Driving Exponential Growth Across All Key Metrics

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The April 23 premiere of Genius Brands International, Inc.’s (“Genius Brands”) (NASDAQ:GNUS) Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, has proven to be a huge hit for Kartoon Channel!, with over 9 million views to date.

“Superhero Kindergarten analytics from Kartoon Channel! from the first weekend, exceeded all expectations, with traffic up across every metric we track,” said Kartoon Channel! General Manager, Jon Ollwerther.

“Network hours watched went up 941% week-over-week to 349,735 hours. Unique users went up 1,841% week-over-week to 1,858,434 uniques. New application installs went up 465.9%, as we saw growth across all viewing outlets including televisions, tablets, mobile phones, computers, and game consoles, as well as growth across all the viewing platforms of Kartoon Channel!, including Apple, Android, Roku, Amazon, You Tube, Samsung, LG, and others, with full episode viewing exceeding industry norms as well. We can already see the 2nd weekend dramatically building on the 1st.”

Celebrating the Superhero Kindergarten milestone, Schwarzenegger stated: “Over 9 million views is an incredible start in this wonderful adventure, and I know that Stan would be extremely proud. I’m personally quite pleased, because it is positive content, for both kids and their parents. As Kelly Clarkson said this week on her show after airing a clip, ‘I love when a program comes out that my kids want to watch, and I want to watch as well. ” (Click to view Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent appearances on The Kelly Clarkson Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!)

“The world is migrating to streaming, and being free and family friendly, are distinguishing factors to drive Kartoon Channel! success,” said Genius Brands CEO, Andy Heyward. “Warren Buffett calls this type of differentiation a ‘moat,’ where an economic castle enjoys a material competitive advantage. There is no monthly subscription fee on Kartoon Channel!, as is required by many streaming services, because we are ad-supported. No less important is that we are producing very cool original content of the highest quality, which today’s kids and families want to see.”

“The importance of the Superhero Kindergarten performance is that successful viewership drives advertising revenue to the Kartoon Channel!, making the channel the valuable asset for Genius Brands we have been aiming towards from its launch. Second, retailers, toy companies, and consumer product licensees track series performance closely, as they determine what brands they go after and devote shelf space to. Though we can’t compare apples to oranges, the most successful animated series on television for many years has been the Simpsons. It is broadcast on linear television, and averages about 3.1 million views per episode. While, Superhero Kindergarten is streaming, not linear television, we couldn’t help but notice that by the end of the second weekend, the series has amassed more than 9 million views with only 3 episodes released so far.”

Genius Brands will continue rolling out new episodes each week with episode four debuting this Friday! The series is available by downloading the free Kartoon Channel! streaming app on Apple and Android devices; on Amazon Prime, on connected TVs and devices by Samsung, LG, Roku, Tubi, Amazon Fire Stick; on YouTube; and more; or by visiting www.kartoonchannel.com.

Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten is geared towards kids and families and focuses on the adventures of six unique kids who are learning to master their super skills, along with their ABCs. With the help of their teacher Arnold Armstrong (AKA ‘Captain Fantastic’, the greatest superhero to ever live!).

It all began five years ago when Arnold Armstrong faced off in a final fight against his nemesis, the evil Dr. Superior, that left him powerless. Little did anyone know that during the fight, super-energy particles rained down on a group of unsuspecting toddlers. Now, those toddlers are kindergarten students at Greenville Elementary School who, with the help of Arnold Armstrong, must learn to control their powers as they go on super adventures! Arnold Armstrong’s mission: to train these kids to use their super-powers safely without revealing their identities. They learn the values of teamwork, health, diversity and anti-bullying while also protecting their town from rivals, and the nefarious Dr. Superior who has returned as Headmaster Danforth of the Academy for Superior Children across town.

Fun for the whole family, the series opens up the superhero genre for a whole new demographic and draws kids in with action and comedy, while parents can appreciate the quality of content synonymous with Stan Lee. Season one of the series includes 26 half-hour long episodes that began with a two-episode double feature and will be rolled out on a weekly basis every Friday.

Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten features Schwarzenegger, voice-directed by John Landis, one of the most successful movie directors of all time, with Steven Banks, former head writer for SpongeBob SquarePants, serving as head writer for the series. The series is produced by Genius Brands and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment in association with Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions. Gill Champion, CEO of Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment; Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of Genius Brands; Schwarzenegger; and Paul Wachter of Main Street Advisors serve as executive producers.

About Kartoon Channel!
Available everywhere and anywhere kids are today, Genius Brands’ streaming network, Kartoon Channel!, is a family entertainment destination that delivers enduring childhood moments of humor, adventure, and discovery.

Delivering 1000’s of episodes of carefully curated free family-friendly content, the channel features animated classics for little kids, including The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Babar, Mello Dees, Super Simple Songs and Baby Genius, and hit content for bigger kids, such as Pac-Man, Angry Birds, and Yu-Gi-Oh, to original programming like Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, KC! Pop Quiz coming in spring 2021, and Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal for 2022. Kartoon Channel! also offers STEM-based content through its Kartoon Classroom!, including Baby Einstein, and More.

Kartoon Channel! delivers positive and purposeful content that is widely available and easily accessible across all platforms (Comcast, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV, Android Mobile, Google Play, Xumo, Roku, Tubi, Samsung Smart TVs, and LGTVs).

Kartoon Channel! can also be streamed on TVs and mobiles device by downloading the app, or on desktops by visiting www.kartoonchannel.com

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 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