When it comes to children’s apps, licensed brands drive both discovery and sales, according to Eric Huang, development director for IP and brand development for children’s ebook retail start-up Made In Me, speaking at Launch Kids at Digital Book World 2014 in New York.
The best-selling children’s book apps in the UK, according to Huang, are attached to brands like Moshlings, one of the bigges children’s brands there. When Huang was an executive at Penguin, he helped spearhead the company’s creation a best-selling Moshlings app.
“When kids search for your books, they’re not searching for the books, they’re searching for the licensed characters and titles,” said Huang. “Licensing drives search and sales.”
But publishers may not always have the possibility of being partnered with blue-chip brands.
“Not every licensing deal can be with a Disney Princess,” said Huang.
At the same time, the competitive set for children’s publishers has expanded greatly with the growth of digital media and platforms like tablets where kids watch, read and socialize.
In the past, this was the children’s publishing competitive set:
The competitive set now looks more like this, according to Huang:
While many publishers may blanch at the prospect at competing with some of these brands, many of them have a big advantage.
“Puiblishers are in the most powerful position in kids media today because you create brands,” said Margaret Milnes, senior director of brand management for Running Press, also speaking at Launch Kids at Digital Book World.
Publishers that aren’t able to partner with larger brands to create ebooks and apps may be able to create their own brands which can then be licensed out to other media and kids product categories.
“Kids publishers should think of themselves more as media companies than as publishers,” said Milnes.
Source of the slides: Eric Huang’s Launch Kids presentation.
Related: Kids and E-Reading Trends 2012-2013