WildBrain’s digital media division, WildBrain Spark, is diving into augmented reality (AR) for the first time with an app that lets users create short videos featuring characters from some of its more popular brands.
The division, which grows brands through new digital content often on YouTube, is teaming up with South Korean startup ANIPEN to add characters from Teletubbies (pictured), In the Night Garden and Boy & Dragon to ANIPEN’s AnibeaR social video app. The characters will be available through the app in Korea, Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Australia later this year. The free app, which lets users overlay art and images onto the world around them, also allows them to share their videos via social media.
AR continues to grow in popularity, with kids entertainment companies including Dr. Seuss Enterprises, The LEGO Group, Microsoft and Warner Bros. all looking to bring their brands into the real world…virtually. The tech first rose to prominence (and dominance) in 2016, following the breakout success of mobile game Pokémon Go, which was downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide that year.
It’s into this growing market for AR that ANIPEN, which was founded in 2013, is looking to make a name for itself. The company developed its AnibeaR app in-house, and it has grown to feature more than 300 pieces of art, including some from brands like Hello Kitty.
This new move also comes as WildBrain focuses on growing WildBrain Spark. The company earmarked more than US$17 million in new financing to build up the division and its AVOD business, amid an 11% dip in Q3 2019 revenue.