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.
My friend Emma was in New York last week for Kidscreen. Emma has many gifts, among them, photography. She sees things that most of us do not see: Patterns in the carpet, the play of hands and shoes. I wish I saw a world that was as beautifully composed, as lyrical, and as honest as Emma does. Emma is an artist and these are her photographs.
A number of international TV and digital platform deals have been forged by Toronto, Canada-based marblemedia’s Distribution360 for its kids and youth programming catalog. The company has also sold six titles to Learn360, a media-on-demand service that distributes content to educational institutions across North America.
“Market signals indicate that investors are very bearish on the prospects of Toys ”R’ Us,” says Jerry H. Tempelman, director of the capital markets research group at Moody’s Analytics. “There is concern in the market.” The toy retailing institution is on shaky ground as debt hovers and sales drop. Industry analysts like Tempelman agree it’s time for a TRU makeover.
Vancouver, Canada-based Sony Pictures Imageworks has been tapped by the owner of the popular mobile video game app as the main animation studio for the film.
Hasbro is adding to its toy/digital integrated Telepods product line through Angry Birds Stella, the latest brand to hatch from Rovio Entertainment that features the popular Stella character and her friends.
- If Comcast buys the pay-TV rights to Despicable Me 2, it could mark a first for a cable TV provider (The Wall Street Journal)
- Time Warner Cable invests further in STEM education for kids (Broadcasting & Cable)
- How the Mouse House is calling on tech startups to help grow its digital business (The New York Times)
- The Candy Crush, CandySwipe, Candy Crusher trademark saga continues (Games Industry)
Disney Channels Latin America and EMEA are adding a third season as well as a 90-minute concert special to the teen-skewing telenovela Violetta.
In the lead-up to Toy Fair, Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) has signed numerous new global licensees to many of its hit kids IP, and the company has promoted Ana de Castro from WBCP’s SVP of business and legal affairs to Warner Bros. Entertainment’s SVP and deputy general counsel.
Following up on her iKids 2014 presentation, Dr. Carla Fisher shares an overview of the three major challenges for children’s app developers and ways to address them.