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Nickelodeon

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The 90s kids rejoice! Nickelodeon now has a designated streaming channel. You can find shows like All That, Catdog, and more on NickSplat. The streaming channel is available through VRV.

VRV is a streaming subscription service that allows users to access channels. Some of the channels VRV provides is NickSplat, Boomerang, Crunchyroll, Cartoon Hangover, Hidive, Mondo, Rooster Teeth, and VRV Select. There are multiple ways to subscribe. You can choose which channels you would like individually for around $4.99 per month, or bundle all of them for $9.99.

NickSplat’s parent streaming host VRV was created in 2016 to create a viewing experience for fans of anime, animation, sci-fi, comic, and tech fans. The website has continued to expand since its launch. The website has had many channels throughout the years. The horror streaming app, Shudder used to be a channel on VRV, along with other notable channels. Shudder has since left along with Nerdist, Geek and Sundry, and Funimation.

Website Design

The website design of the parent streaming service is horrendous. The design is greyscaled with a few pops of color. Each channel has its own corresponding color. NickSplat, of course, is assigned orange. The main menu is a mess.

The NickSplat logo sits on a dropdown menu that allows the viewer to select the channel. In the middle of the menu, the VRV logo is front and center. On the right are symbols that correspond to the watchlist, search, and profile Unfortunately, you don’t really know what the symbols mean unless you click on them. At first glance, I thought the watchlist was a symbol to view the full library.

Below the main menu sits a featured program with the descriptive text being the focal point. Instead, I wish the image was the focal point and the description popped up when you hovered over the image or leaving the text off until clicking on the show. Underneath that is the limited number of NickSplat television shows.

There does not seem to be a rhythm of flow to the feed, at all. The groupings of the show on the main page are not alphabetical. The only real category seems to consist of Popular and Updated. Sifting through the shows from the home page may look chaotic, but when you click on view all it does sort alphabetically.

Content

Most of the content on NickSplat’s channel is for subscribers only. However, there are a few shows and episodes viewers can watch for free. VRV, NickSplat’s hosting stream service is only available in the USA, currently.

Nickelodeon’s official website and VRV themselves claim that there is a massive library of shows available to watch on the website. Unfortunately, I found that not to be the case. Scrolling through the home page might look promising, but when looking at the full library, the numbers just aren’t there.

Claiming to have a massive library of shows puts me in minds of at least hundreds of unique titles, while NickSplat has a whopping 8 shows in their library. Supposedly, they rotate out shows from Nickelodeon on a schedule. There is a website they claim allows you to see what will be coming to the channel next. However, I could only find what was currently playing and the titles that they had previously pulled. All in all, the library is a disappointment.

Desktop & Mobile Accessibility

The desktop version of this website is not an enjoyable experience. On one hand, the website design is funky and pretty bland. On the other hand, the videos do not lag and audio quality is decent. In the grand scheme of things, this website falls somewhere in the middle. The navigation on the desktop is confusing.

The mobile browser of the parenting company, VRV takes you to a webpage asking you to download the app and create an account. When I clicked on the NickSplat channel it prompted me to try a 30-day free trial, instead, I downloaded the app.

The mobile app to watch NickSplat is called VRV, like the host website. The logo and colors are bright yellow, black, and white. My initial reaction to the application is positive. I created an account and there was a neat feature that allowed you to shake your phone to get a random username. Some of the suggestions were very clever and the art for the icons was awesome.

The home page for the app is put together nicely, but when it comes to NickSplat’s channel it is still a mess. The organization of the bottom menu is cleaner and more helpful. Unfortunately, the NickSplat feed is still very unorganized and all over the place.

Positives

In terms of the positive aspects of NickSplat, I cannot say that there are many. The parent streaming service VRV is something I am not used to seeing. The design is not very user-friendly. The NickSplay channel itself is not a good experience.

One of the few positives is the price. For just the NickSplat channel it is $4.99 per month. Under $5 sounds good, but there’s a catch. The library is very minuscule. There is an option to bundle all of the channels for $9.99, which is not a bad deal if you like the content from the other channels.

Lastly, the best part is the nostalgic titles. Shows like Rocket Power, Catdog, All That, Rocko’s Modern Life, and a few more are available right now. Even though there aren’t many shows, there are quite a few episodes available for each series. Some of the episodes are even free to people without subscriptions so that is a plus.

Negatives

There are more than a handful of issues with NickSplat. It has been more of a frustrating experience than a positive one. One major problem is that the root of most of the issues is hard to pinpoint.

Being a channel, hosted by a larger streaming service is no doubt limiting. VRV is the home to the NickSplat channel. Overall, I am not a fan of their layout or streaming service. The website design is not user-friendly. The grey-scale theme is popular among streaming websites, but this one is not appealing at all.

Navigation for the website is very confusing. If you do not know exactly what you are looking for, it will take a few minutes to figure out. The flow of the website is not good. There is no pattern for the categories or the featured blocked out shows.

Lack of organization is the worst part of the website. It feels like little to no effort was put into the NickSplat’s channel. Unless you visit the view all shows tab you will find no rhyme or reason to the main feed. Once you click on all shows it is organized alphabetically.

Another issue is that the amount you pay for the number of titles you receive. There are only 8 titles on NickSplat, currently. Both Nickelodeon and VRV claim there is a massive library of nostalgic goodness. However, that is a grievous understatement. In my mine, a large library is upwards of 100 unique titles, preferably more.

Lastly, for the media giant, Nickelodeon, I was expecting bright orange and green on their page. What I found was a grey-scale with a single orange stripe near the top menu. It just was not enough. It felt like all of the life had been sucked out of the channel. I was hoping to see some Splat artwork but was met with disappointment.

Improvements Needed

There are many changes that could be made to improve the NickSplat stream. The easiest thing would be to add more titles to the stream. The company claims that they regularly rotate shows, but ideally making their whole library available would be much better. Another idea would be to add more graphics to make the channel feel more like Nickelodeon.

Finally, the best change would be switching from using a streaming subscription service to having their own. If Nickelodeon would utilize all of the titles available to them from Nick, Nick Jr. Noggin, TeenNick, and the other versions of their brand they could pull off an awesome streaming service.

Summary

NickSplat has all of the potential to be a great streaming experience. Unfortunately, as it stands now, it is a nightmare. The pricing for the subscription to the channel may be small, but it is not worth it.

The amount of titles available for subscribing members is pitiful. The claim Nickelodeon and VRV make saying their library is massive is misinformation. There are multiple episodes of the shows, but there are only 8 shows available at a time. Unless improvements are made, I would not recommend this streaming channel unless you were using the entire VRV bundle for all of the channels.

Likes & Hates:
Nostalgic titles are available
The price is low
It is a channel on a larger scale website
The website design is lackluster
There is no organization to the channel
Navigating can be confusing with multiple channels and menus
The library of shows is incredibly small