Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning.It’s Wednesday, February 19, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Kids today don’t necessarily view TV programming on the television, and they certainly don’t wait for a network to tell them when and what to watch. Thus the rise of SVOD services like Toon Goggles, which is adding subscribers by the bucketful at $4.99 per month with its gated community of entertainment kids can discover themselves and share with friends. Director of business development Jordan Warkol tells CynKids what’s working best about the platform and why. Here’s Jordan in his own words on…

…The Toon Goggles distribution model
At this point a lot of kids are growing up without having cable in the home. When we distribute content for kids, we keep in mind they are all over the place, so the same content needs to be available in all forms of media at the same time.

…Why SVOD now
SVOD makes a lot of sense in this environment. We’re a premium service but we also offer a version that allows kids to access the service for free and the content runs with advertising. Because of our demographic it needs to be child-appropriate advertising; we are COPPA-compliant and we approve every advertisement. But some parents may want to stay away from ads in general and are happy to subscribe. Right now there’s definitely a fair amount more people using the free service with advertising vs. paid subscribers. We also have a lot of people who try out the service, watch a few videos with ads for free, then jump over to the SVOD model.

…Playing it again
There’s a ton of repeat on Toon Goggles. For younger children, it’s very different from adults. Some may not understand everything that goes on in an episode, or they fall in love with the characters, and they’re very happy to watch the same three episodes over and over. Looking at patterns, they tend to watch the same 10 shows, and the first three episodes are  watched more often than the last 10.

…The Joy of Short and Sweet
The shorter-form shows, 3-7 minutes, are probably the most popular because of the usage we have on tablets, phones and other mobile devices. A child might get to use a tablet or phone for 3-10 minutes and in that time they can watch a couple quick episodes. It’s hard to get into a longer show when you only have the device for a few minutes.

…Going Word-less
Girls and comedy are our top categories, and non-dialogue content is doing very well. A lot of the non-dialogue is in comedy; it’s just easier to do slapstick jokes without words sometimes. When it comes to funny, there’s a lot of content that’s been created internationally that translates really well across the U.S. audience. Shows like Bernard and Monk-they are from Spain and France, and they’re playing in America and have been the most popular shows for months on the platform. Kids have never seen them before and it doesn’t matter because it’s universal humor.

…The Next Phase of Content Development
Of course we’re always looking to beef up girls and comedy, and we’re also looking for some more shows that fit the 9-12 range, more boys and live-action. We also have a games section that supports HTML 5 games; we have about 60 games now and will be adding to those. The other big category we’d like to add is ebooks. It’s an obvious addition for our service. Having brand-recognized content is not as important as it was five years ago, but we do have some now and we will be adding more.


Hey Everybody! The call for entries in the third annual Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards is now open. The Awards honor the best children’s and family multiplatform programming and marketing, plus the outstanding execs in kids entertainment. This year, we will also be honoring an elite group of Animation Innovators. Entry deadline is Friday, March 14, and we will salute all winners on June 11, 2014, at the !magination Awards ceremony in NY. Please visit the awards website for info: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/kids-awards.

New DHX/TVO Kids/FremantleMedia animated series Ella the Elephant took its first bow Monday on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. The whimsical series, based on the books created and illustrated by Carmela D’Amico and Steve D’Amico, will air weekdays on both networks, as well as weekends on Disney Junior. 

Fans who tuned into Disney XD’s Kickin’ It and Lab Rats this Monday got a chance to catch two 30-second teasers for the net’s upcoming series Star Wars Rebels. The network is wooing fans by introducing series star Ezra, a 14-year-old con artist who learns to fight for a greater good. Star Wars Rebels is scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.


What happens when Barbie gets crowned Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit cover girl? You get an eye-catching, in-your-face new campaign from Mattel and the magazine. Titled Unapologetic, the campaign celebrates the 50th anniversary edition of SI’s swimsuit issue and includes a four-page advertorial of Barbie photographed by Walter Iooss Jr., who’s been shooting the magazine’s human swimsuit models for decades, multiplatform videoclips, a limited-edition cover wrap and Sports Illustrated Barbie, to be sold exclusively on Target.com.


The Jim Henson Company is partnering with digital video company Base79 to help raise its profile on YouTube. Base79 will use proprietary technology to mine audiences for the Jim Henson Family TV channel and increase the overall presence of Henson content on YouTube.


Following the 3 millionth download of their first app, Bandai Co. and Sync Beatz Entertainment are releasing the free Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Angel app, which recreates the original Tamagotchi Angel digital handheld game series, for iOS and Android devices in the U.S. and Canada.

Oceanhouse Media released two new book-based apps – If I Ran the Horse Show, a Dr. Seuss-themed romp as the Cat in the Hat as he takes Sally and Nick to the Super-Tremendous-Studependous Horse Show to teach them about all things horsey, and A Busy Day for Stegosaurus-Smithsonian’s Prehistoric Pals, an immersion in prehistoric creatures.


Are you part of a team that works on a groundbreaking kids series, an addictive game or app, an infectious children’s entertainment campaign?


Entry Deadline:March 14, 2014
Late Submissions:March 21, 2014
Awards Event:June 11, 2014 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information


It’s Toy Fair week, and that means a cartful of new licensing deals in kids TV land… CynKids enjoyed a visit to Nickelodeon Studios and a preview of new Nick merchandise for shows including Spongebob, Peter Rabbit, Bubble Guppies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the upcoming Dora and Friends. Among standouts were a line of infant bedding, toys and clothing for Peter Rabbit, a near-life-size TMNT rendition, and a line of toys and accessories to accompany the lifestyle of a more grown-up Dora and fans, including a cell phone that contains the ever-handy “map app.”
Saban Brands
is in a new global publishing deal with Random House Children’s Books for its Julius Jr. brand. Saban is also strengthening its Power Rangers costume business through licensing renewals with Disguise, Rubie’s Costume Company and Morphsuits. Each partner will continue producing character-inspired costumes through 2017.

DHX Media secured Imports Dragon as the master toy partner for animated series Johnny Test. The series airs on Teletoon Canada and Cartoon Network channels in the States and around the world.

Cartoon Network Enterprises is bolstering its Adventure Time consumer products program with additions to its line with master toy partner Jazwares and bunch of new partners including Aquarius Entertainment Merchandising, Briarpatch, A Crowded Coop, Cryptozoic and TopCat. As a follow-up to last year’s Adventure Time-themed Monopoly and Memory Challenge editions, USAopoly will release Munchkin: Adventure Time, which pairs the card game with the characters from the Land of Ooo… Speaking of card games, the Adventure Time Card Wars app recently hit the top spot on iPhone and iPad for both app and game.

Entertainment One Licensing is expanding licensing for its Peppa Pig brand in the States including the first national retailwide DVD titles scheduled for release in March, August and October. The series airs seven days a week on Nick Jr. New licensing partners include VTech and Penwizard, and current brand partner Fisher-Price will launch a new line of ballet-themed Peppa Pig plush dolls, play sets and figurines in August exclusively at Toys’R’Us. Scholastic and Candlewick Press will also release new Peppa Pig books throughout the year.

CBS Consumer Products is expanding its Star Trek line with new partners including Soft Stuff Creations, Gary Gurmukh Sales and Icon Heroes.

Zodiak Kids has appointed PMS International as the first manufacturer of Mister Maker toys, to include plush, talking plush and bath toys available in the U.K. Zodiak is also in new deals with Trademark Collections and MV Sports for Mister Maker accessories.


Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission approved the kidSAFE Seal Program as a safe harbor program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The Commission’s COPPA Rule requires operators of online sites and services directed at children under the age of 13 to provide notice and obtain permission from a child’s parents before collecting personal information from that child. The COPPA safe harbor provision provides flexibility and promotes efficiency in complying with the Act by encouraging industry members or groups to develop their own COPPA oversight programs.


Season three of Violetta, the first original live-action series created by Disney Channel Latin America and Disney Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa, is now in production. The series has amassed 38 million-plus viewers and currently ranks as the No. 1 show in 10 markets including France, Spain, Denmark and South Africa. Disney is also prepping a 90-minute concert special to celebrate the Violetta En Vivo European concert tour, which will launch across EMEA in 2014.  



The Exploding World of Kids’ Tablets: The New Way to Build Your Brand Webinar

Save The Date:March 20th, 2013|1:30-3:00 pm EST


Answer to Last Week’s Trivia Question: Who was the first videogame character to be featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?Sonic the Hedgehog Lots of guesses but only two correct. Kudos to: Hank Bordowitz, The Bordowitz Media Werx, Ridgewood, NJ; Keith Manzella, Eastwest Marketing Group, NY.

Today’s Trivia Question: What color swimsuit was Barbie wearing when she was first introduced in 1959? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)


Saturday Morning Ratings by Block – February 8, 2014







































































































urce: Disney from Nielsen Media Research. Based on Saturday morning viewing blocks from 7a-1p

* Editor’s Note: Due to the Presidents Day holiday weekly ratings were not available at our press time. They will return next week.

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Feb. 14-16, 2014:

LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $63.52 million (weekend) $143.8 million (2-week cume)

Ride Along (Universal) $10.03 million PG-13 (weekend) $117.4 million (5-week cume)

Frozen (Disney) PG $8.07 million (weekend)  $368.7 million (13-week cume)

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount) PG-13 $2.56 million (weekend) $48.00 million (5-week cume)

The Nut Job PG (Open Road) $2.44 (weekend) $58.19 million (5-week cume)

Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $2.26 million (weekend) $7.01 million (2-week cume)

Philomena (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $1.86 million (weekend) $30.94 million (13-week cume)

Labor Day (Paramount) PG-13 $1.42 million (weekend) $12.61 million (3-week cume)

Gravity (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $1.25 million (weekend) $258.28 million (20-week cume)

Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate Entertainment) $610,000 (weekend) 


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Cheers — Cathy
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Cynopsis Kids!

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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