State of the Kids Digital Space, Apps & Media

YouthNation_LivestreamAlison Bryant and Paul Levine of children's digital research company PlayScience present their latest findings on kids and digital media at Casual Connect in San Francisco.

Not surprisingly, most children hear about new apps from their friends, especially as they get older, though younger children are more likely to learn about new apps from their parents.

Here's the executive summary of the PlayScience report:

PlayScience: Kids, Apps and Digital Media

Here's the video of the PlayScience presentation at the Casual Connect 2015 Conference in San Francisco.

 

Thanks to Scott Traylor of 360 Kid for the video!


Oculus Story Studio: Meet Henry

Henry.oculus.story.studioOne of the strongest applications of VR is its potential for emotional connection through character driven storytelling. Turns out the team at Oculus also see's the power of digital and virtual storytelling on a platform like Oculus.

 

Oculus Story Studio’s latest VR experience, ‘Henry’, a heartwarming comedy about a loveable hedgehog, coming later this year. ‘Henry’ is directed by Ramiro Lopez Dau, whose work includes animation on films such as Pixar’s Brave and Monsters University.

 

Meet Henry from Story Studio on Vimeo.

Henry is a lonely, spikey hedgehog who is having some trouble finding friends, and I can't wait to tell his heartwarming story. Oculus Story Studio has recently announced that they will be premiering "Henry" in Hollywood on July 28th.

You can meet Henry by visiting oculus.com/storystudio/henry


STUDY: 59% of 8-14 Year Olds with Smartphone Use Chat Apps

WhatsappNew research from UK-based digital marketing platform SuperAwesome, which currently houses the largest kids research panel in the region, maps out a compelling crop of comparative digital kids data from 2009 to 2014. 

The survey contains lots of really interesting stats on kids gaming, social networking and mobile habits, but one of the most interesting statistics comes from the data regarding chat apps. Back in 2009, MSN dominated, but now kids have shifted their loyalty to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

So while kids may not be using Facebook, they are using Facebook products (FB Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp) as primary social networking and communication tools. It looks like the great unbundling of Facebook strategy may pay off and keep younger users in the Facebook mobile ecosystem. And mobile ad network. (Shock! Awe!)

The other big take away is the shift from passive consumption of media to an active embrace of maker culture. Kids are creating movies and publishing them on YouTube, creating worlds in MineCraft and embracing LEGO more than ever.

While this data is primarily focused on kids in the UK, I would garner that data from U.S. kids would closely align with the SuperAwesome findings. 

Kids Trends: 2009 vs 2014


Trend Watch: Disney's 'Little Mermaid' Second Screen Live iPad Experiment

Little.mermaid.second-screen-live-disneyWhile broadcasters, social networking and tech start-ups have been experimenting with second screen and other social entertainement experiences, they've been pretty much confined to TV viewing at home through social tv apps (like GetGlue or IntoNow) or social networks (Facebook and Twitter).

Disney aims to change that by bringing an interactive and second screen experience to the movie theatre!

On September 20th, Disney Studios wants you to bring your iPad with you to the special screenings of The Little Mermaid to interact with the film, play games, sing along, find new surprises and compete with other audience members.

 

Trend Watch: Children’s Virtual Worlds 2011 Report

image from www.360kid.com Scott Traylor, founder of 360 Kid--the award winning kid focused content and technology company--has put together an exhaustive study of the state of kids virtual worlds. It's an impressive report.

According to Scott, "the most popular destinations for both kids and adults are “casual gaming” destinations. For kids and tweens, that means Wizard 101, Poptropica, Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters (which was just valued at $200 million).

While social and chat-based destinations like IMVU and Hi5 fall in second place for the young adult and older crowd, destinations that have a toy tie-in or real world connection, like Webkinz and Build-A-Bearville hold second place for kids and tweens.

However, this VW/MMO type has been on a slow two-year decline, largely as a result of Webkinz loosing significant marketshare over that period, to newcomers like Wizard 101 and Poptropica.

While Club Penguin has dropped in placement on the best top 10 list for kids, it has done a surprisingly good job of maintaining marketshare, loosing only a small percentage compared to Webkinz."

You can read the entire report over on Scott's 360 blog. And while you're there, don't forget to subscribe to his RSS feed and follow him on Twitter!


Togetherville Named One of the 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education

Togetherville.logo Fast Company just released its list of the most innovative companies in the world, and Togetherville ranked #5 on their education list! Other notable mentions on this list include LinkedIn and the Discovery Channel.

To learn more on how Togetherville, the social networking site for kids,families and teachers, is building a platform for these communities to share and express their thoughts on educational issues, click here.

Congrats to the Togetherville team!


ABC Introduces Social TV iPad App for "My Generation"

As more and more people get iPads and other multiplatform devices that allow them to sit on the couch and socialize with friends while watching their favorite TV shows, traditional broadcast media outlets are looking for new and interesting ways to connect viewers to their programming and make it a more social experience.

Earlier today, Disney/ABC Television Group and The Nielsen Company announced the debut of ABC’s first-of-its-kind “My Generation” Sync iPad App that is designed to enhance the experience of watching ABC’s new show, “My Generation.” My_GEN_iPad_app

Completely free to download and use, this innovative app makes watching “My Generation,” which premieres next Thursday, September 23rd at 8pm ET/PT on ABC an interactive experience.  

The “My Generation” Sync app provides exclusive content and social media functionality on the iPad in real time as viewers watch the show – whether they watch it live or on DVR.

 

Using Nielson’s Media-Sync Platform and audio watermarks, the app automatically synchronizes with the television show and allows viewers to unlock content such as polls, trivia, behind-the-scenes info and more.

As we look to the future of TV, consumers can expect more interactivity, personalization and portability that allow viewers to easily consume TV entertainment on devices other than the glowing box in their living room.

For younger viewers, television is a much more interesting and socially interactive experience when they can watch a show and discuss it in real time online with their friends. So it makes sense that ABC is looking at this trend and created this iPad app to provide younger viewers with a social tv experience.

The app also allows users to interact with other viewers through their various social networks as they watch the show. The app is free and available to download in the App Store on iPad.


Trend Watch: Disney to Launch 'Disney Junior', A New Channel For Preschool Set

DisneylogoMoving aggressively to expand its hold on children’s entertainment, the Walt Disney Company will close its SoapNet cable channel and replace it with a service aimed at preschoolers.

In 2012, Disney Junior will take the place of SoapNet, a 10-year-old channel devoted to soap opera reruns that is available in about 75 million homes, according to Anne Sweeney, co-chairwoman of Disney Media Networks.

The new Disney Junior brand will also provide affiliate partners with a robust Video-On-Demand offering, a High-definition network and a Spanish language SAP feed.

Disney Junior's animated and live action programming will blend Disney's unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills.

Disney’s current preschool operation — a block of programming on Disney Channel and about two dozen Playhouse Disney international channels — will be re-branded Disney Junior starting next year.

More on New York Times >>


Network With Youth Brands at the 2010 Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup

The 2010 national Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup is where today's top brand, corporate and social marketers, media professionals, educators and non-profit organizations gather to share best practices, research and latest strategies on marketing to youth with technology.

This is the event where you'll find out what leading-edge technologies youth are using today – and will be using tomorrow. You'll also get an insider's view into youth-focused tech and media startups and learn how to leverage social media, gaming, virtual worlds, mobile and more to authentically reach youth.

The Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup will be held on May 24-25 in San Francisco! You still have time to register, so come join us!

Event Program | 2010 Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup

Weekly Wrap: Hello Kitty Death Watch, University Ditches Kindle, Facebook Community Pages, Disney Tweets, Social Media ROI, Digital Parenting & More!

Barking.robot.iconFor Many Blacks, Twitter Enables a Vibrant Social Life: Some researchers have surmised that African-Americans might use Twitter more heavily because they use it in a more conversational way than other groups.

Twitter's "trending topics" - popular subjects on a given day - often center on issues African-American users are tweeting about. [NewsObserver]

Instead of Banning Your Kids from Social Networks, Consider Teaching Responsible Usage: I’m glad my parents didn’t ban me from them. I’m glad that my parents taught me basic principles to live my life by, principles that have served me both online and offline.

They weren’t particularly tech savvy. They didn’t hover over me at all moments. The family computer wasn’t locked down and it didn’t have any monitoring software. But, they taught me how to be safe as a kid. [ManagingCommunities.com]

More Cyberbullying on Facebook Than Rest of the Web: Thirty-two percent of online teens have experienced some form of harassment via the Internet, a problem also known as "cyberbullying."

According to recent data, 15% of online teens have had private material forwarded without permission, 13% have received threatening messages and 6% have had embarrassing photos posted without permission. [NYT]

Facebook Privacy Research: There is significant concern about the exposure of personal data to facebook’s advertising partners and to external sites, often governed by the decision of friends rather than the personal subject of the data. [Frances Bell]

Hello Kitty Death Watch: Hello Kitty fatigue is hitting Japan first, and hard, the company indicated. Analysts say part of the problem is that Sanrio has oversold Hello Kitty, which appears on products as various as T-shirts, toilet paper and toasters. [NYT]

How Facebook’s ‘Community Pages’ and Privacy Changes Impact Brands: While there’s been plenty of coverage about user privacy concerns, attention on Facebook’s changes on brands hasn’t been adequately covered, this analysis is intended to unravel what’s at stake –and what brands should do.  I’ve spoken to a handful of brands and their representatives to learn what’s eating at them. [Web Strategy]

Tweets From Disneyland: Our weekly roundup of some of the best--and the worst--tweets from the park that's only sometimes the happiest place on earth. [OC Weekly]

Business School Ditches Kindle DX: The Kindle isn't doing as well in academic environments as Amazon—and educators—had originally hoped. The Darden Business School at the University of Virginia is near the end of its Kindle "experiment," already concluding that students are not into the Kindle when it comes to classroom learning. They are, however, fans of the Kindle when it comes to using it as a personal reading device. [Ars Technia]

The Real ROI of Social Media: If you're asking the ROI question about social media and expecting to be able to show it all on a spreadsheet, you're still looking at social media as a channel, most likely for just one or two business functions, such as marketing or recruiting.

While it's true that social media can be used in that way, it has become something else entirely: an essential communication utility. What's the ROI of the telephone? Or email? It's a ridiculous question, right? [American Express OPEN]


Weekly Wrap: Foursquare Nabs MTV & VH1, Linguist Urges Kids to Embrace Twitter, Saving the Google Students, COPPA & Youth Marketing, Free iPad eBooks & More!

Barking.robot.iconSix Reasons to be Skeptical of the 'Digital Natives' Discourse: Almost all of the claims of the net gen discourse are in popular media and if they are based on research, it is proprietary and full methodological details are not provided. All of the sound research that refutes the claims is published in scholarly journals and has been subject to peer review. [Net Gen Skeptic]

Saving the Google Students: For the Google generation, closing school libraries could be disastrous. Not teaching kids how to sift through sources is like sending them into the world without knowing how to read. [LA Times]

Weekly Wrap, Foursquare Edition: Meet Gatsby, Fresh off the heels of hooking up with Bravo TV and Harvard Foursquare signs a similar deal with MTV & VH1, Microsoft adds Foursquare data to Bing Maps & a really cool visualization of Foursquare check-ins at SXSW. [Iconoculture] [Mobile Entertainment News] [Mashable] [TechCrunch] [SimpleGeo]

10 Reasons Students Are Tuning Teachers Out: You’re teaching to a generation of students that can access more information more quickly than any other generation. Don’t tell students that you don’t want to figure out how to use the internet or that you don’t answer email. You’re putting yourself into a category you don’t want to be in. [GYJoe]

US Census Bureau Adds Mapping App to Facebook: In an effort to reach out to young people, the U.S. Census Bureau is launching a huge nationwide campaign incorporating social media, broadcast media and print to encourage people to fill out their census forms this year. [Inside Facebook]

Ypulse Interview| Jamie Tworkowski: Jamie is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide. Related: MTV Poll: Generation Stress [Ypulse]

Preparing Your Content for iPad: Platform-specific considerations and UX Guidelines for web content in Safari on iPhone OS devices, with specific information for iPad. Also, iPad to Offer 30,000 free eBooks at launch. [Safari Technical Notes] [Apple Blog] [UX Magazine]

Marketing to Kids | A Time for Playing by the Rules:Whether it’s Quiksilver, Monster Energy Drinks or ESPN X Games, the look and feel of the typical action sports-related website is young, edgy, authentic. Action sports marketers need to be aware, however, of the panoply of laws that regulate marketing to kids, including the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). [GroupY]

Quote O' The Week: “I hate being thought of as a product. I am not a doll, and people want to treat me that way. I’m older now. I have an opinion. I have my own taste.” - Miley Cyrus on why being a Disney pop princess is so difficult. [Gossip Girl] [Barking Robot]

Blogging, academia, and the new public intellectual: John Holbo admits he and his fellow pioneers have lost the “revolutionary fervor” of blogging’s early days. “I’m fortunate to be at the top of the food chain, to have these bully pulpits where I can stand up and know thousands of people will hear me,” he says. “But we all thought blogging was going to transform academic life, and that didn’t really happen. [Cal Alumni Association]

Linguist Urges Kids to Embrace Twitter: Language is forever changing -- and forms such as tweets and text messages are no less valid than any textbook version, says the linguist David Crystal, whose latest book encourages children to engage with the possibilities of their lingua franca. [The Independent]

More People Are Watching TV While Surfing the Web: This is some decent news for the TV industry, since the fear is that Internet time is eating into boob tube viewing. Overall, TV viewing is up 1%, year over year, according to the report.  [Business Insider]

Why Apple’s iPad Can’t Succeed in Schools (Yet): You see, tablets-as-books is a great idea until the battery dies, and then the student has no textbook and no computer. She will have to plug-in to a power outlet if she wants either of those things back. Related: A Kindle in Every Backpack [The Apple Blog] [Barking Robot]


Trend Watch: I Kissed A Vampire, the Musical

image from www.blogcdn.com What do you get when you take one part High School Musical, one part Twilight, throw in a dash of Dr. Horrible, mix it up and throw it on YouTube?

The first ever Vampire musical web-series: I Kissed A Vampire.

The web-only series, the brainchild of Hollywood writers Chris and Laurie Nolan, is a musical look at the torment of falling in love when you're in the middle of becoming a vampire. You know, your basic coming-of-age tween flick.


Yes, it's campy. Yes, the songs are catchy. Yes, tweens are watching it in droves. No, it's not from a big studio trying to show tweens how hip they are.

What sets IKAV apart from other youth oriented musical and or vampire movies is that it doesn't have the backing of a major studio. The entire series is done bootstrap style, relying on social networking sites YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for marketing and iTunes for distribution.

American Pop, a social media marketing firm who has worked on projects for the BBC teen series 'Skins', have also been pulled in to help market the film. 

The TV 2.0 revolution is being led by niche content producers like Chris and Laurie Nolan who are able to leverage social networking, free distribution channels, generational trends and the rise of a new participatory culture that can be utilized for increased exposure and commercial success.

New episodes of IKAV were shot in December and the next wave of IKAV hits iTunes in March 2010.


Weekly Wrap: Democrats & Millennials, Disney's "Alice" Goth Party, Vancouver 2010 Social Media Experiment, John Lennon Education Bus, Google Buzz Lawsuit & More!

Barking.robot.iconDemocrats Edge Among Millennials Slipping: While the Republican Party picked up support from Millennials during 2009, this age group continues to favor the Democratic Party more than do other generations. And the underlying political values of this new generation continue to be significantly more liberal than those of other generations on many measures. [Pew Research]

Harvard Law Student Files Class Action Suit Against Google Over Buzz: One of her attorneys, Gary E. Mason of Washington, D.C.-based Mason Law Firm LLP, said, "It's not so much that we're expecting to get millions of people hundreds of dollars. What we'd like to see as result is a commitment from Google that they're not going to do this again the next time they launch a product." [ABC News]

Why Gen Y Isn't Buying Your Products: To put it bluntly, if you’re uncomfortable with marketing to Generation Y, or refuse to understand our unique demographic, your store will not see 2020. To understand Generation Y is to overcome many obstacles in the retail industry. [Retail Customer]

Twitter Users Do It In the Car: Twitter is checked more often while driving than other sites, such as Facebook, according to a recent survey by research firm Crowd Science. Sounds like it's time to take Oprah's No Phone Zone pledge! [NBC San Francisco] [Oprah.com]

John Lennon Educational Bus: Throughout TEDActive, TEDsters had a chance to participate in something truly magical: the making of a music video. The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a nonprofit mobile recording studio, travels all around the country 10 months out of the year, providing free hands-on workshops to students of all ages, working with both audio and video projects. [TED Blog]

Tweet O' the Week: RT @henryjenkins: Whatever people are doing in World of Warcraft, it isn't "bowling alone." http://bit.ly/dhrSeI

High School Kid Uses YouTube to Land Prom Date with Maxim Model: In a move sure to inspire hundreds of copycats, 17-year-old Dakota Ridge High School senior Conner Cordova used a series of YouTube videos to get UFC Octagon Girl and Maxim model Arianny Celeste to go to the prom with him. [Asylum]

A Conversation About New Media & Education: It is about a world where students learn with a book in one hand and a mouse in the other, rather than one where they are taught that book culture is so fragile it needs to be protected from the computer. [Danielsaurus.com]

Disney Invites 'Goths' to the Party: Disney, the company that created "the happiest place on earth" and cornered the market on pink, is embracing a darker aesthetic as it reaches out to an unlikely audience for new merchandise: female "goths." [WSJ, Registration Required]

Welcome to Vancouver, the World's Largest Social Media Experiment: Social media was around for the Summer Games in Beijing, but this is the first time it will be deployed in a free and democratic regime.

There's good reason to expect that the Olympic experience will be transformed by the social media presence: it's already changed the Olympic planning process for both the Games organizers and the media that's now descending on the city. Related: Olympics Must Embrace Digital & Social Media Or Risk Losing Youth Audience [Harvard Business Review] [Barking Robot]

Yahoo's #Olympics Website Beats NBC's in Traffic: According to comScore, Yahoo's Olympics site and Yahoo Sports are the top websites for coverage of the first weekend of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. [The Wrap]


Weekly Wrap: Gen Y & the 'Obama Effect', Social Web Strategy Matrix, NBC Olympic Strategy, Facebook Privacy for Teens, Rebranding Mickey Mouse, Gen Y Slang, Young Hollywood = $$$ & More!

Barking.robot.iconWhy Brands Are Becoming Media: One of the greatest challenges I encounter today is not the willingness of a brand to engage, but its ability to create.

When blueprinting a social media strategy, enthusiasm and support typically derails when examining the resources and commitment required to produce regular content.

Indeed, we are programing the social web around our brand hub, which requires a consistent flow of engaging and relevant social objects. [Mashable]

Web Strategy Matrix: There’s an incredible amount of media and blogger noise about social networks, yet most focus on “killer app” hype without an objective point of view. My career mission?  To cut out the hype and help companies make sense of what to do. For those fraught with information overload, this definitive matrix distills what matters. [Jeremiah Owyang]

Facebook Privacy Settings for Teens: I would love to have the network's response to these recommendations, so please chime in as an educator, researcher, counselor, doctor, parent...or friend. I am hoping we can get the best recommendation out there for our young teens...and their parents. [Architecture of Ideas]

Hollywood Still Doesn't Understand How to Market to Women: This past weekend, something momentous happened in Hollywood. “Dear John," a chick flick based on a schmaltzy Nicholas Sparks novel and starring two only moderately famous actors, unseated “Avatar,” the most successful movie of all time. Nobody saw it coming. Why not? One simple reason: Hollywood still doesn’t understand how to market to women. [The Wrap]

Probing the 'Obama Effect on Gen Y: According to a study to be released this month by Images USA, 81 percent of the so-called Generation Y feel the gravity of world events is causing them to get involved. But according to Ricki Fairley-Brown, CMO of Images, African-American and Hispanic Gen Yers are more motivated than Caucasians of the same age. [AdWeek] [BrandWeek]

Yet Again, NBC's Olympics Strategy is a Loser: If the reason you are not showing events live online is that you say no one is interested in watching them that way, why are you bothering to police the Web? Prove that no one cares about live events online. [C|NET]

Disney to Rebrand Mickey Mouse: Mickey's popularity in the United States has begun to wane. He's been crowded out of children's hearts by growing competition from Nickelodeon, Pixar and Dreamworks characters and personalities. Executives consider the rebrand of Mickey's personality necessary to remain relevant in the marketplace. [BrandWeek]

Gen Y Makes Vanity Fair's Top 40 Moneymakers List: Los Angeles is the home of American cinema and these days, Gen Y is making the big bucks in this town. Vanity Fair recently compiled a list of Hollywood’s top earners in 2009, including the likes of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Ron Howard. Fifteen percent of Vanity Fair’s list, though, belongs to Generation Y. [Examiner]

Shamelust? GTL? The latest slang from Gen Y: Here's a taste of some new Gen Y vocab that may have otherwise made you go "huh?" upon hearing it. [@ Trend Central]

More Content Shared on Facebook, but User Activity Falling: Facebook's continual system tweaks plus services such as Facebook Connect are really helping transform the company into a content-sharing network rather than a meeting place for college friends. [Fast Company]

Do You Need a Social Media Policy?: Even when a company has a clear social media policy in place that provides more specifications as to what employees aren't allowed to post, there is no guarantee that everyone will represent the company exactly as you want. [INC.]

The Revolution Will Be Mapped: GIS mapping technology is helping underprivileged communities get better services — from education and transportation to health care and law enforcement — by showing exactly what discrimination looks like. [Miller-McCune]