Worldwide Biggies CEO and founder Albie Hecht is always up for a challenge. The man who built a storied career as the president of film and television entertainment for Nickelodeon during the ascension of SpongeBob SquarePants, gave the keynote address in the form of a Q & A with E! Entertainment film critic Ben Lyons, to top off the first day of the KidScreen Summit.
‘I’m just a big kid,’ Hecht laughed when asked about how he keeps going in a business that demands constant innovation, and his latest gamble looks to be paying off.
In 2005, Hecht left what he called a ‘perfectly good career in broadcasting’ to create a digital media company. ‘I really asked ‘Where is the next Wild West?’ – that is where I wanted to go,’ he said. ‘I’m always looking for the next best thing.’
So far, Worldwide Biggies has scored its first hit with the multiplatform property The Naked Brothers Band, which launched on Nickelodeon last year.
As well, he is looking to create what he dubbed the ‘board games of the 21st Century’ and is launching a family-friendly online game based on the movie classic The Princess Bride later this year to get the ball rolling.
With a modest aim of creating six web series and six to eight online games a year, Hecht told the gathered delegates in the West Ballroom that digital media was the best way to reach kids today.
‘Kids today are busy doing 20 things at a time,’ he said. ‘The experience we have to give them is so much more robust now. The net is where the playground is. That is where the most surprises and the most discoveries are going to be.’