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.
As this generation grows up never having to wait to watch their favorite shows, new research from Tennessee-based youth and family research firm Smarty Pants delves into the effect of Netflix, YouTube and Hulu on US children’s viewing habits – and where established kidnets have an opportunity to gain some more ground.
More than two million Rainbow Loom kits flew off US retail shelves in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With these scorching holiday sales, the low-tech product – which was just named Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association – is tapping into girls’ social nature to drive an arts & crafts toy category revolution.
- Why Comcast can try to compete with Netflix, but it may not succeed (Wired)
- A new study finds women are still underrepresented both on-screen and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry (The Hollywood Reporter)
- Kids and the currency of “likes” in the social media age (CNN)
- Russian search engine Yandex wages a war on Android (Bloomberg)
SuperAwesome, Europe’s largest kid and teen mobile marketing platform, has officially set sights on the US market with the acquisition of L.A.-based mobile ad network MobiGirl Media.
We’re all in the business of making media for kids. We want to entertain them, as well as develop products that stimulate creative and critical thinking, and reinforce 21st century skills. I recently attended a symposium at NYC’s City and Country School, one of the oldest progressive educational schools in the US, entitled The Power of Progressive Education: Can Creativity Be Taught?
Interactive games and electronics may be propelling the toy industry forward in the digital age, but this year’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards have sent a clear message that offline may just be more on-trend than ever – especially among girls. Craft sensation Rainbow Loom from Choon’s Design took home the coveted Toy of the Year title as well as three category awards, while GoldiBlox’s Spinning Machine picked up the People’s Choice award at the 14th annual TIA-administered event in New York.
- Candy Crush Saga maker files for IPO of up to US$500 million (The Hollywood Reporter)
- This winter’s weather is unpredictable in more ways that you’d think (Advertising Age)
- Behold, the world’s first smartwatch for kids (Mashable)
- Influential Irish animator Jimmy Murakami passes away (Animation Ireland)
The consumer products program surrounding Cartoon Network series Adventure Time is about to expand with a crop of new collectibles, games, puzzles and branded pet toys.