With as many as 20.2 million kids forecast to be venturing on-line from home by the year 2002, Jupiter Communications, publisher of the newsletter Digital Kids, is taking a closer look at this market at its Digital Kids ’97 conference. The event, occurring June 5 and 6 at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, will focus on building on-line brands for kids and teens. Panels will discuss how television can cross-promote and cross-program with the Web, revenue strategies for kids and teen on-line services, and the importance of the teen and college markets. Keynote speeches will be given by Herb Scannell, president of Nickelodeon; Tim Koogle, president and CEO, and Jeff Mallet, senior vice president of business operations, both of Yahoo! Corporation; and Tom Dusenberry, president of Hasbro Interactive. And the popular panel featuring preteen kids, led by Kidscom president Jorian Clark, will return to reveal what they like and dislike about on-line content. To find out more about the event, call Jupiter Communications at 800-773-4545 or 212-780-6060 or check out the company’s Web site (www.jup.com).
-Cloud 9 Interactive tests TV delivery
In an effort to explore alternative distribution methods for its children’s software products, Cloud 9 Interactive is turning to television. As part of a live market trial in Santa Barbara, California, three of the company’s titles I Can Be A Dinosaur Finder, I Can Be An Animal Doctor and Marvel Super Her’es Creativity Center are available to cable television subscribers via ICTV, a provider of PC games, CD-ROM products and Internet access to TV sets. To view this content, customers need only switch on their TV sets, equipped with a set-top box; no computer or game system is required. In the Santa Barbara region, the service is offered to households that are cable subscribers of Cox Communications.
-OWL’s comic strip stars soar on-line
TORONTO: The stars of the Mighty Mites comic strip in the Canadian children’s discovery magazine OWL are hosting their own interactive area on AOL Canada. The area, targeted at kids age seven to 12, was designed by Mackerel Interactive in partnership with OWL Communications, publisher of the magazine. (Both companies are units of Combined Media.) Visitors to The Hole (keyword: Mighty Mites) can travel the planet with characters Keisha, Nick and Seth, learn about animals encountered on their journeys, chat with wildlife experts, and code and decode secret messages using the Talisman device worn by the Mighty Mites. A television series based on the comic strip is also in development.