Even MORE on KidsWB
With its Kids’ WB! Saturday morning slot on The CW slated to get the axe this fall, Warner Bros. has been working quietly on a new platform for its library of animated programming. The result is KidsWB.com, a premium ad-supported website that launched yesterday and targets kids six to 12 with a wide array of free entertainment offerings based on characters and properties from the Warner Bros. Animation, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics vaults.
Leading the charge is Sam Ades, KidsWB.com GM and VP of digital animation for Warner Bros. Television Group. With more than 100 games, thousands of streaming videos, customization elements on most apps and a robust cache of prizes and rewards for virtually every activity on the site, Ades is confident it will attract a sizeable audience.
The company is devoting resources to commissioning big-name industry talent to produce original made-for-digital programming under its Studio 2.0 banner. In the kids pipeline are shorts based on Plastic Man and The Wizard of Oz. The site will also house a special KidsWBJr. area for preschoolers with age-appropriate video, games, activities and downloads and two planned virtual worlds for older kids – DC HeroZone featuring the comic brand’s top superheroes, and Warner Zone.
Comcast is the site’s inaugural distribution partner, offering free streaming and VOD programming on its Fancast.com hub. Shows that play into this deal include The Flinstones, The Jetson, Smurfs, Batman: the Animated Series and Josie and the Pussycats. AOL will also feature a KidsWB.com broadband channel, streaming a different assortment of toons selected from the catalogue.
Mattel and McDonald’s are on-board as the platform’s first advertisers, with Mattel holding the rights to launch ad and promo partnerships for DC HeroZone, which will showcase a range of products it produces for the superhero franchise. Remaining ad inventory on the site will be handled by WBTVG’s digital media sales team, directed by EVP of media sales Michael Teichler.
Wowza… yeah… so I was WAAAAAAAAAAAY off yesterday with my thoughts about the cross platform approach to KidsWB. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off.
Hmm. So, KidsWB (old Tworks) is no longer a virtual world? It’s just a platform – like Kabillion or Nick.com(ish)? Interesting.
I wonder how well this will do with older cartoon programs & less TV/Saturday Morning support? Will cartoons that appeal more to the parental set be able to compete with newer, shinier brands?? Or is there a lasting glimmer in older cartoons like Flintstones and Jetsons that can transcend generations?
I guess if I were in a grocery store with my kids and they were acting like hellions, I might just pop my phone in front of them so they can watch streaming Bugs Bunny… instead of most of the content available on the web.
And so… are DC HeroZone and Warner Zone (apparently they dig the zone) going to add to the bigger list of Virtual Worlds… but only for teens? Sounds like it. And do they mean that KidsWB.com is DEFINITELY NOT a virtual world (as had been mentioned in regards to its previous moniker)?
I tend to be “thick” some times… so maybe I’m just missing something. I look forward to more press statements regarding Warner Bros’s plans. In the mean time, if anyone has any commentary about this– bring it on, yo 😉
Wow– and info keeps pouring in (thankfully, I hate being confused). Here’s a tidbit. Click this link to actually see the entire post (thanks to Virtual World News to always bringin’ it to the table, Rad):
What about virtual worlds?
“The areas I’m most excited about are the highly immersive, ever-expanding virtual worlds: The Warner Zone and The DC HeroZone,” said Ades. “These are the worlds where the kids really take control in open-ended exploration and gameplay—and, again, earning points for everything they do.”
After emphasizing concerns for safety and COPPA compliance, Ades showed a video demo promising that “the best is yet to come. Prepare to enter the KidsWB virtual worlds.”
Displayed were avatar creation tools with Daphne from Scooby Doo, Taz, and Tweety. It looks as if The Warner Zone will be a fairly colorful, friendly environment. The DC HeroZone, though, is “melodramatic, where heroes and villains face off” in what is described as “the all new Batman virtual world.”
That’s not to say it won’t be appropriate for kids–I’m certainly not going to make that judgment after a 10-second clip–but it does look like it might skew slightly older.
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