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'Zenón the Farmer,' the most popular series of El Reino Infantil
'Zenón the Farmer' is the most popular series of El Reino Infantil. Photo: El Reino Infantil

El Reino Infantil, the Latin animation channel conquering YouTube

Argentine producer Kuky Pumar has turned El Reino Infantil into the number one Spanish-language YouTube channel.

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“Bartolito era un gallo, que vivía muy feliz, cuando el sol amanecía, Bartolito cantaba así...” ("Bartolito was a rooster, on a quite little farm, when the sun came up, Bartolito crowed like this..." 

These are the lyrics of one of the most popular songs of Zenón the Farmer (La granja de Zenón), a series of children's video clips broadcast by El Reino Infantil, the most popular Spanish-language YouTube channel in the world.  

With 47 million subscribers and close to 40 billion views in more than 20 countries, including some non-Spanish-speaking ones, El Reino Infantil, created in 2011 by Argentine artist and music producer Roberto Kuky Pumar (Buenos Aires, 1960), is today the most watched Spanish-language YouTube channel in the world. It has grown so popular that it manages to challenge big Anglo-Saxon producers, such as Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

 "This digital phenomenon I think is proving that we Latinos can also be creators of great content at the same level as the Anglo-Saxon world," Pumar told EFE in October of last year, coinciding with the start of the first tour of Spain of the musical show EXACTO!, inspired in Zenón the Farmer.

The tour allowed hundreds of Spanish children to "meet" their favorite characters from the series in person, such as the rooster Bartolito, the cow Lola, the horse Percherón and Zenón himself, a rancher-like farmer.
 

With a long career in the music industry (he founded his own label Leader Entertainment 40 years ago, having promoted Argentine cumbia and artists such as Paulina Rubio and Thalía), Pumar decided to turn his career around and bet on the creation of children's content on the Internet a little over a decade ago, realizing that children were going to be digital natives and their tendency would be to imitate their parents or siblings and go to the platforms in search of content and songs.

That's how he came up with the idea of putting visual animation to a whole repertoire of lifelong musical children's songs, such as "Susanita tiene un ratón," "La vaca lechera" and "La gallina turuleca."

Later on, they started making their own productions, such as Zenón the Farmer, Songs of the Zoo, Bichikids and The Blu Family.

According to Pumar, a difference-making factor that explains the worldwide success of their content, especially Zenón the farmer, is that they conceived a farm "as it is, without trying to humanize any animal," Pumar explained to Coolt, an online media outlet focused on Spanish culture issues.

The rooster Bartolito — the audience's favorite — for example, "is an anti-hero leader. He is a leader who makes mistakes and everyone loves him the same." That's how they wanted to convey it, added Puchar.

Currently, the children's YouTube channel with the most subscribers in the world is CoCoMelon with 128 million subscribers. It's an American YouTube channel and streaming media show acquired by the British company Moonbug Entertainment. CoCoMelon offers content in several languages, although it barely exceeds 1 million subscribers in Spanish.

CoCoMelon is behind the popular Bath Song, a cartoon video starring two young children in a bubble bath singing the Baby Shark tune, which has been viewed 4.9 billion times and generated millions of dollars in advertising revenue.

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