Apple’s Rules For Kids Apps Will Impact Analytics and Ads

Apple has created new rules for kids apps in the App Store that will ban external analytics software and restrict the ability to sell advertisements. Considering the market dominance of the Apple App Store, developers of kids apps are worried that, starting next month when the rules go into effect, they will struggle to stay afloat. Apple said the new rules were in response to some children seeing inappropriate ads on apps and its aim to protect them from data trackers. Some privacy advocates have applauded the move. Continue reading Apple’s Rules For Kids Apps Will Impact Analytics and Ads

Digital Viewing Steadily Increases Across Multiple Age Groups

Digital viewing is growing across age groups as traditional TV viewing declines, according to eMarketer. The researcher estimates that 64.8 million millennials will watch digital video this year at least once a month, a projection expected to reach 66.8 million by 2022. Meanwhile, 59 million millennials are expected to watch traditional TV in 2018, a figure projected to decline in coming years. The trend is growing with Gen X in the U.S. as well; eMarketer projects that 51.8 million (representing more than three-quarters of the Gen X population) will watch digital video at least once a month. And kids 11 and younger? Not surprisingly, 24.2 million with turn to digital viewing this year. Continue reading Digital Viewing Steadily Increases Across Multiple Age Groups

Findaway Launches Tablet Specifically Designed for Libraries

Findaway launched its Playaway audio player in 2006, a device that came pre-loaded with one audiobook. Despite distribution deals with Borders and Barnes & Noble, the product failed to gain traction, likely due to the lack of customization options. However, since libraries are in the business of passing one item from person to person, the device had some appeal. Now the company is introducing its Playaway Launchpad, designed specifically for the children’s sections of libraries. The device comes pre-loaded with educational apps developed by app maker Fingerprint. Continue reading Findaway Launches Tablet Specifically Designed for Libraries

LeapFrog Struggles in Tech Driven Market for Children’s Toys

Once a top seeded player in the educational toys and games industry, LeapFrog is having trouble competing with app developers in today’s highly tech driven market for children’s toys. In 2011, it became one of the first companies to launch a successful tablet for kids, only to be pushed out of the market a few years later by the ubiquitous presence of the iPad and other tablets. Since then LeapFrog has had no choice but to drop prices on a device that once made up half its annual revenue. Continue reading LeapFrog Struggles in Tech Driven Market for Children’s Toys

Talking Smart Toys to Run on Watson Supercomputing System

Toy-making company Elemental Path unveiled the first connected smart toy to be powered by IBM’s Watson cognitive supercomputing system. A talking dinosaur is the first in the line of smart toys known as CogniToys. The dinosaur has speech recognition capabilities and it can have conversations with children, answering a wide range of their questions. Elemental Path’s Kickstarter campaign has already more than doubled its goal of raising $50,000 to start producing the smart toys. Continue reading Talking Smart Toys to Run on Watson Supercomputing System

Nickelodeon Shifts Direction to Draw Today’s Younger Viewers

To attract a new generation of young viewers, children’s television channel Nickelodeon is retooling its strategy to produce shows with the more media-savvy viewer in mind. This latest generation of kids has typically consumed more media on TV and YouTube by the age of 12 than their older brothers and sisters did, so re-runs of older content no longer keep them hooked. Nickelodeon is now filming outdoors, adding multi-episode plotlines, and adding fresh writing and acting talent. Continue reading Nickelodeon Shifts Direction to Draw Today’s Younger Viewers

Google Plans Initiative to Build Products for Ages 12 and Under

Google has confirmed that it plans to develop kid-friendly versions of some of its more popular products next year. While Google has yet to release specific details about the initiative, many predict that Chrome and YouTube will be among those products redesigned for children 12 and younger. Google understands that kids are among those most active on the Internet, so it hopes to create Web-related products and services that are deemed appropriate for their use. Continue reading Google Plans Initiative to Build Products for Ages 12 and Under

Micro-Content: Cartoon Network Unveils Mobile App for Kids

Turner’s Cartoon Network launched an app last week that features 10- to 15-second clips of the cable channel’s animated shows. “Cartoon Network Anything” is targeting boys 6- to 11-years old, many of whom are shifting towards mobile media consumption. Cartoon Network designed the app to drive young viewers back to the TV with promotions for on-air properties in between the 15-second clips, games, polls, quizzes, trivia, and puzzles. The free app is available for iOS and Android. Continue reading Micro-Content: Cartoon Network Unveils Mobile App for Kids

Google Planning to Offer Accounts to a Younger Demographic

In what could potentially become a controversial move, Google has plans to offer accounts to children under the age of 13 for the first time. Google services such as Gmail and YouTube do not currently offer accounts to kids (although kids can log on anonymously or pose as adults). Now Google is planning a new approach that encourages parents to open accounts for their children, and in the process control how they use Google services and the information that is collected about their kids. Continue reading Google Planning to Offer Accounts to a Younger Demographic

The Purchasing Policies That Regulate Kids’ In-App Purchases

Last week, the FTC sued Amazon for allowing kids to make unauthorized in-app purchases from their parents’ smartphones. Like other tech giants, Amazon has settings to prevent kids’ accidental charges. When confirming the first in-app purchase, users can select a setting to require a password for future purchases from the Amazon App store. Apple has a similar policy, while Google offers an option to let users enter a password once to make purchases for the next 30 minutes. Continue reading The Purchasing Policies That Regulate Kids’ In-App Purchases

Lego Fusion Sets Combine Physical Blocks and Virtual Worlds

Lego is launching a new line of building block kits this summer that enable 7-to-12-year-old children to build a physical building and then see that building become a part of a virtual world in the corresponding smartphone app. The budding builder would construct a facade out of the 200-piece Lego Fusion set, and then use the app’s camera function to capture the creation and turn it into a building within the app’s game, such as a tycoon game or a racing game. Continue reading Lego Fusion Sets Combine Physical Blocks and Virtual Worlds

Kids Can Design 3D Printable Monsters via Modio iPad App

Modio, an iPad app by Icelandic entrepreneur Hilmar Gunnarsson, turns kids and adults alike into 3D designers. Users can build poseable models within the app by adding limbs and other features, and adjusting size and color with just a few taps. Then these constructed figures come to life through 3D printing. Limbs snap into place, similar to the way Legos function. The iPad app is impressive in its use of multi-touch technology, which allows users to collaborate on projects. Continue reading Kids Can Design 3D Printable Monsters via Modio iPad App

Amazon to Sell Kid’s Show and Merchandise via Content Hub

Amazon and Hit Entertainment have teamed up to offer a “content hub,” which will allow preschoolers to watch episodes of a new children’s television show, “Fireman Sam,” alongside ads for related merchandise, such as toys and apparel. “Fireman Sam” episodes will be available exclusively on Amazon, starting with the first 13 episodes released yesterday. The content hub raises questions about children’s advertising, which is usually subject to regulation when it appears on TV. Continue reading Amazon to Sell Kid’s Show and Merchandise via Content Hub

Media Companies Partner With YouTube Startups, Target Teens

Large media companies, such as Disney, AOL, DreamWorks, Warner Bros. and Yahoo, are teaming up with startups that produce YouTube videos popular in the teen and tween age groups. Disney acquired Maker Studios for $500 million in March. AOL and Yahoo have discussed an acquisition deal with Fullscreen. DreamWorks is creating a multichannel network. These deals usually involve advertising agreements in which media companies help YouTube stars sell ads in return for a cut of the profits. Continue reading Media Companies Partner With YouTube Startups, Target Teens

Sesame Street Unveils Sesame Go Video Subscription Service

Sesame Workshop, the maker of the long-running children’s television show “Sesame Street,” has launched an exclusive, standalone video subscription service. For $4 per month or $30 per year, subscribers will have access to hundreds of ad-free episodes, including shorter 30-minute episodes that have never been seen in the U.S. before. The interface with its simple and colorful buttons was designed especially for kids. Children can watch Sesame Go via the Web, tablets or smartphones. Continue reading Sesame Street Unveils Sesame Go Video Subscription Service

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