GEAR / iKIDS / MOBILE / SOCIAL
While the early success of Disney Infinity helped the House of Mouse’s Interactive segment see sales rise 38% to US$403 million in its first fiscal quarter of 2014, the company is laying off 700 people – or 26% of the division’s global workforce – following particularly sharp losses on the social gaming front.
iKIDS / PEOPLE MOVES / TV / WEB
AwesomenessTV, the Dreamworks Animation-owned media company that develops and distributes content for teens and tweens, has tapped former Disney digital marketing exec T.J. Marchetti to lead branding initiatives as chief marketing officer.
iKIDS / MOBILE
Over the past five years, bestselling toddler app Peekaboo Barn has had a front-row seat to the ups and downs of the children’s mobile market. Now, with this week’s release of a refreshed version of the app, brand owner Night & Day Studios offers a clear view of where things are headed in 2014.
With its increasingly popular Talking Friends apps having now surpassed 1.5 billion downloads – and YouTube views steadily approaching eight figures – Cyprus-based entertainment company Outfit7 is extending that mobile success to the small screen with the help of Spanish production company BRB Internacional.
- Robert Lopez, co-writer of Frozen’s Oscar-winning song, is the youngest person to collect the coveted EGOT: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (Variety)
- Archie Comics mines new talent (The New York Times)
- How Amazon can ease the pain of its pricey Prime service (Wired)
- The most popular tweet of all time (Mashable)
California-based toymaker Jakks Pacific, which is looking to bounce back in 2014, has secured a multi-year licensing renewal with Saban Brands to produce Halloween costumes and accessories for kids and adults based on the Power Rangers boys brand.
- A whopping 61% of teens are using game consoles to browse the internet (eMarketer)
- Young people weigh in on whether advertising to children through social media should be allowed (The Guardian)
- On writing YA well (Publishers Weekly)
- Hulu sells off its Japanese subsidiary in order to focus its efforts stateside (TechCrunch)
As Moshi Monsters creator Mind Candy continues to develop its mobile strategy, the company has launched the free-to-play Moshi Karts app for iOS devices that will also usher in a new branded toy line from UK-based toyco Vivid.