58 million downloads and counting
Cartoon Network Digital takes a three-pronged approach to connect with its core demo of kids six to 11
When Cartoon Network Digital VP Chris Waldron joined the Turner-owned net 15 years ago, interactive content was pretty much restricted to the click of a computer mouse. Fast-forward to 2015, and Cartoon Network is home to a robust offering of 36 iOS apps that account for roughly 58 million total downloads, as well as a continuous output of original digital content. Among the most innovative properties to emerge from the company this past year was Mighty Magisword. The first digital series on micro-net Cartoon Network Anything was released in May and resulted in a 133% increase in monthly active users that month.
This past spring also saw Attack the Light, a Steven Universe-based paid role-playing game, become the company’s third app to hit the number-one spot on iTunes.
Waldron says apps like Attack the Light are part of his team’s commitment to CN’s direct-to-consumer games business that encompasses paid apps and console games like newcomer Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations. He says another key to the company’s digital success is the development of new products that are designed to appeal to the widest possible audience and serve to redefine what TV is. (Cartoon Network Anything, which has attracted scores of six to 11s with its roulette-style blend of games, videos and activities, is just one example.) Meanwhile, the third piece that’s tying it all together is the development of new IPs.
“Our team is working with show creators in Burbank to find the next big property that is rooted in digital from the beginning, and not after the fact,” says Waldron. “Magiswords is one example of digital and content working together as one content team on games, apps and web content. And we will continue to do more.”