By way of David Kaplan, over at MocoNews, another spat of new developments over at Nickelodeon....this time in the area of mobile content. The company plans on launching three new mobile websites, which will tie-in with existing Nickelodeon branded content. Each site will be targeted toward a different demo - one for kids, one for teens and one for parents. Kaplan thinks that a heavier emphasis will be placed on the sites/properties aimed at teens and adults, as they represent the bulk of existing cell phone users, but I suspect that the kids market will be targeted quite aggressively. The children's industries have been trying to establish a kids' mobile market in North America for a couple of years now, and Nickelodeon has been particularly successful in using cross-media convergence strategies to continuously devise new ways to infiltrate kids' lives.
Kaplan further provides a summary of an interview he conducted with Viacom's Steve Youngwood, who described Nickelodeon's mobile strategy in terms of a "multi-pronged approach", although it's not immediately evident how their site will differ from the plethora of kid-oriented cross-media brands currently spreading through the kids' digital media culture. The mobile website (in beta since late 2007), "represents the juncture of the group’s gaming and mobile focus." As Kaplan describes, the Nickelodeon WAP site will initially contain around 25 casual games, with more on the way. The company is planning to use a (*gasp*) ad-based revenue model. On this, Youngwood assures us that “Because of the sensitives associated with kids and advertising, we try to be proactively responsible by clearly identifying what is and isn’t an ad. This is all part of a continuous dialogue with our users and their parents”. We'll see.
You can read more of Kaplan's interview with Youngwood over at PaidContent.org, and find out more about Nickelodeon's emerging mobile properties here. I've been amassing a ton of info about kids and mobiles over the past two months, and will be posting a lot more on this topic in the very near future.