Babelgum has picked up exclusive first run distribution rights on Scott Adams’ Dilbert animated cartoon series as well as the New Yorker’s and a handful of others—Bloom County, Michael Fry and T Lewis’ Over the Hedge, Paul Gilligan’s Pooch Café and Richard Thompson’s Cul de Sac. The deal is with RingTales, an online distributor of animated cartoons, and adds to Babelgum’s previous library of non-exclusive cartoon clips from the company.
Popular cubicle dweller Dilbert had previously been a major hit on iTunes, where it claimed the #1 podcast spot earlier this summer with over 2 million downloads for the month of July. The new Babelgum deal means it will have first run on new episodes, before its other partners like iTunes, MSN and even Dilbert.com.
The short, under 30-second clips will live on Babelgum Comedy’s Animation sub-channel. Given their bite size lengths and name recognition it’s likely these series will do well on Babelgum’s not too shabby mobile app which makes for fast access to their growing library. Back in July, the site announced it locked exclusive mobile distribution rights on content from celeb-backed comedy hub Funny or Die.
This is the latest licensing deal from Babelgum, which has been on a spree of deals lately as it tries to build out its content offering. The firm’s recently hired Comedy Channel Publisher Amber J. Lawson often talks about she is crafting a curated “smart comedy” channel. The high-brow comedy of Dilbert and the New Yorker seem to be in line with that thinking. “As consumers are increasingly looking to the Web for animation content, Babelgum will provide users not just with a mere replacement of static cartoons but with a one stop shop offering an enhanced digital viewing experience,” said Lawson.