Before I dig into the origin story behind the creation of ROKiT Flix, the world’s first free, kid-friendly streaming service without advertisements, I think it’s important to walk through the various aspects of my journey of being a business owner.
I began my career as a business owner at a young age; I’ve always had a passion to create brands that change the world and help inspire others. When I was only 22 years old, I secured European rights to the then-unknown Yokohama tires brand, which I ended up selling back to Yokohama after successfully bringing the brand to market. Throughout the mid-’90s, I started to work in the telecoms business when I developed an innovative system that allowed telecom entities to sell pre-paid vouchers electronically, which was an idea that was unheard of at the time. Recognizing, early on, the enormous potential of the mobile industry, I then founded ROK to create the technology to simplify the process of pre-paid vouchers for mobile phones. I sold ROK’s electronic voucher technology to a leading mobile industry player in 2002, while still retaining the ROK brand – which I re-launched with my co-founder and fellow entrepreneur, John Paul DeJoria.
Over the next decade, I began to focus on the telecommunications world by providing mobile television to network providers around the world, which then led me to the formation of ROK TV. In 2018, John-Paul and I created ROKiT, a people-first telecoms company selling a selection of value-driven mobile handsets, paired with a variety of vital-life services, such as telemedicine and roadside assistance as well as smartphones featuring glasses-free 3D screens. In the Fall of 2018, came the introduction of ROKiT Cities, a wide area mesh networking Wi-Fi XL service to help connect some of the poorest communities around the world, starting with 27 of the largest cities in India. Although I have had a very non-traditional career path, all the different brands I have created and the wide of industries that I have worked with throughout my journey as a business owner have set the foundation for the creation of my recently launched passion project, known as ROKiT Flix.
Driven by my passion for creating great stories targeted to a global audience on all continents, we created ROKiT Flix to be an accessible way for young storytellers, artists and creative children, young adults, and families from multinational, and diverse backgrounds to enjoy their favorite entertainment content all in one place. Unlike other streaming services, we are not trying to compete with major streaming platforms on the market. Our primary focus is to be a creative outlet that makes free, safe and educational content accessible to anyone with a mobile device. Our mission at ROKiT Flix is to provide a safe haven of entertainment for all children and adults across the globe, as well as educational and faith-based streaming content. We are extremely passionate about making safe content available to all. Being a parent myself, we made sure everything that we create and stream is carefully vetted to ensure all ROKiT Flix content is family-friendly, making parents feel at ease and hopefully, making their lives a little easier. My faith has always been important to me, and I was determined to incorporate a faith element into the ROKiT Flix platform, which is why we devoted two years to animating and producing the Bible. The platform covers every story in the Old Testament, and we are currently in production for the New Testament, which is set to roll out later this year, providing more than six hours of faith-based content. In addition to this faith-focused content, users can also enjoy ROKiT Flix’s wide variety of content including 3D animation, public domain motion comics, ROKiT Animation All-Stars, and ROKiT Radio Theater among more.
In the initial developing stages of the streaming service, we were determined to make ROKiT Flix a kid-friendly streaming platform and we also wanted it to be free of cost and without advertisements. One of the main reasons we created ROKiT Flix was because we wanted to help families across the world save money by providing a no-cost entertainment platform that keeps kids entertained. By putting more money back in their pockets with our free streaming service, parents can then continue to put food on the table, buy clothes for their children and alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with having kids. Although we are extremely excited about the initial content that the platform offers, I want ROKiT Flix to be a streaming service and media platform that only continues to get better over time. While the number of subscribers provides some sort of value as a business owner, my primary focus is for ROKiT Flix to be an entertainment platform that kids love, use and learn from long-term. We want to build a base of loyal and excited subscribers who understand our mission behind the streaming platform and enjoy our innovative and educational entertainment for years to come. I also want people to understand that ROKiT Flix is a platform created to be a safe haven for people from all walks of life and backgrounds. No matter their nationality or culture, ROKiT Flix has a variety of entertainment options for an extremely diverse audience of users.
Like so many other serial entrepreneurs, we are always thinking of out-of-the-box ideas for new brands and while we usually have a general idea of what we want a new brand to be, the ideas typically just build and build until it becomes a solid business idea that you can successfully execute and turn into a reality. Essentially, my mission behind ROKiT Flix’s faith-based content came from the passion I have surrounding wanting to get kids more involved in their faith and with the Bible in a way that is very personal to their age group. Many adults have trouble reading and understanding the Bible, kids are no different. Many children do not have the ability or interest to read the stories in the Bible, which is why we decided to turn every great Bible story into an animated series that kids will both understand and enjoy.
In the initial developing stages of the streaming service, we were determined to make ROKiT Flix a kid-friendly streaming platform and we also wanted it to be free of cost and without advertisements.
The process to create and incorporate these animated Bible-based stories into our kid-friendly platform was an incredibly large undertaking. For the Old Testament alone, there are over six hours as well as three feature-length films that were animated for the platform. This process was expensive to do but it was very important to me personally and one of the main reasons why I wanted to create the platform. After we produced the animated version of the Old Testament, it then sparked the idea for us to broaden our animation offerings and make our content. Thus began the process of adapting old content and making ROKiT Flix a streaming service for kids of all backgrounds, not just for children looking for faith-based media content. We then incorporated educational and other entertainment elements into the platform, and that’s truly how ROKiT Flix was born. It was a process that took a lot of time and work, because of the continuous development of new ideas and our team expanding the platform over ten times. The faith-based content within the ROKiT Flix app was made to provide kids with the ability to learn more about a very popular piece of literature in a way that is both entertaining and easily absorbed by children of all ages. ROKiT Flix is for anyone and everyone. Although the Bible media content is geared toward Christian families, a large portion of our platform’s content has no religious affiliation or messaging. Still, Christian families will likely enjoy the kid-friendly entertainment approach that ROKiT Flix takes and parents of all backgrounds can feel good about the fact that ROKiT Flix avoids all forms of content that is not appropriate for children.
Although ROKiT Flix is not a streaming platform exclusive to any particular demographic, I do think it is important to note that the platform does offer a wide variety of media content that can be a great tool for both faith and educational leaders to utilize. The animated Bible Stories on the ROKiT Flix platform were created to be useful to all denominations of Christianity. Whether they are Catholic, Protestant or Evangelist, all leaders within the Christian faith can incorporate the content into their lesson plans as a tool to teach kids about the Bible in a way that is fun and digestible for young minds. Many children have trouble focusing or understanding faith-based content, and ROKiT Flix offerings provide kids with a simplified way to learn the various stories of the Bible. We have made the complex, and sometimes confusing, stories of the Bible more comprehensible and entertaining, while also offering kids other fun faith-focused elements, such as the 10 Bible games incorporated into the platform. Users can also look forward to additional faith-based content that will be incorporated into the platform over time.
As mentioned previously, ROKiT Flix’s animation of the New Testament is currently in the works but has proven to be a bit trickier to produce than the stories of the Old Testament. Our team here at ROKiT Flix team wants to be mindful of all denominations of Christianity, which is why we have to be extra cautious with how we tell the stories of the New Testament. We want to be diligent in making sure we present the New Testament stories in a way that is not exclusive to one denomination’s perspective. Our mission at ROKiT Flix is to provide content that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience, which is why we are dedicating a lot of time to making sure the production of the New Testament animated Bible stories is done properly. In addition to all the other exciting offerings and elements of the platform, we also incorporated a wide variety of educational media content. Elementary and middle school educators, teachers and superintendents can incorporate the educational elements of the app such as EduFun, a free youth self-learning educational application, into their curriculum and lesson plans. Our content can be used to educate children of all ages and backgrounds, even starting from the time they are in kindergarten. A lot of our AI media content can be incorporated by all types of educational teachers. For example, the stories from Shakespeare can be very difficult to get kids to read and understand, because the language is difficult, and the storylines are complex. However, ROKiT Flix has produced animated versions of stories from Shakespeare, such as Macbeth, in five-minute-long episodes that are fun for kids to watch and learn from. Kids are then able to watch an entire play, which explains the story from the beginning to the end, in a condensed way that their young minds can understand and enjoy. Our Edufun element was created primarily for very young children to teach them a variety of foundational learning elements, including numbers, colors and shapes. With our passion for creating great stories targeted to a global audience on all continents, Edufun has proven to be extremely useful for kids all over the world, specifically children in developing countries, who do not have access to learning or educational resources. By incorporating this element into the platform, we have been able to provide children with access to foundational elements of education at no cost, to allow them to learn and set them up for a better future.
About the author
Jonathan Kendrick is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the ROKiT Group of Companies. As a serial entrepreneur, Jonathan began his business career through securing the European rights to then-unknown Yokohama tires brand (which, having successfully brought to market, he sold back to Yokohama).
Recognizing, early on, the enormous potential of the mobile industry, Jonathan founded ROK to create the technology to simplify the process of pre-paid vouchers for mobile phones. Jonathan sold ROK’s electronic voucher technology to a leading mobile industry player in 2002, while still retaining the ROK brand – which he re-launched with co-founder, fellow entrepreneur, John Paul DeJoria, founder of Paul Mitchell line of hair products and Patron Tequila. Over the next decade Jonathan began to focus on the telecommunications world by providing mobile television to network providers around the world. In 2007 Jonathan streamed the world’s first live music concert over mass-market 2.5G via GPRS to mobile and was streamed across a 4-hour period, live and exclusive, to mobile operator AIS’s ROK TV service. Due to the success in Thailand it led to the formation of ROK TV. ROK TV deployed in over 50 countries by 2013. Partners included China mobile, AIS Thailand, Telenor in Pakistan, American Movil in Latin America, Celcom in Malaysia, and the world’s first free tv mobile service offered globally called Freebe tv.