During the past few weeks, it seems like everyday there is an announcement
regarding a company beginning to broadcast animation over the 'net. With
Level 13 and Wild Brain recently throwing their hats into the ring with
their new Internet entertainment web sites, web surfers are starting to see
the beginning of a boom in Internet animation. Level13.net and
WildBrain.com join Harvey Entertainment, which launched realcartoons.net
just over a week ago, and Time-Warner, which launched Entertaindom.com last
week. All of these new contenders are joining such well-known sites as
Spumco.com, Shockwave.com, which just signed South Park's Trey Parker and
Matt Stone, Atom Films, which launched their site atomfilms.com in March
'99, and Showtime's WhirlGirl at whirlgirl.com. Soon after the new year
another wave of sites are slated to arrive, including POP.com, which is
backed by heavy-hitters, Imagine Entertainment and DreamWorks SKG.
The concept of broadcasting animation over the web is not new; Spumco
started producing an animated cartoon series specifically for the Internet
as early as October '97! What is new is the concept of the entertainment
network that we are seeing today, and the amount of money these companies
are investing. While all of these companies have different approaches and
business plans as no one quite knows yet how to tackle this wild and wooly
world, one thing is clear -- the potential for selling animation
merchandise on the web is very appealing. If these shows and networks take
off, the hats, T-shirts, tapes, mugs and toys that they are selling in
their site stores could make a fortune. Not every show we've seen so far is
a potential Pokemon, and the technology behind these shows is not yet
perfect, but there is something about an audience that can immediately
order merchandise based on the show they have just watched. Talk about
taking advantage of the impulse buying urge! In a world of
instant-gratification, the fact that folks don't have to go anywhere and
hunt down branded merchandise might just be one of the ways these new
animation outlets pay for themselves and new animation!
Here is a brief selection of Internet and Licensing-related articles
published in Animation World magazine:
Big Apple's Silicon Alley
Lee Dannacher profiles four of New York City's leading Internet animation
companies: Funny Garbage, Visionary Media, togglethis and Electronic
the Animated Internet
AtomFilms, Humongous Entertainment & Cavedog Entertainment, Headbone
Interactive and Cartoon Network Online fill us in on what they are
currently doing on the Internet, what the future will bring and how they
are making it all financially viable.
and the Internet
Contrary to popular belief, the Internet and kids are made for each other.
Ted Pedersen & Francis Moss take us into the world of the post-television
generation. Includes a Flash demo.
- Gotta Buy 'Em All!
Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman looks at the marketing and licensing scheme that
has turned 150 viscous monsters into the "Pokémon" every kid in America
from Licensing -- What Sells
Attending New York's Licensing show can be like looking into a crystal
ball. Eric Lurio relates what he's learned on detecting the winners and the
Tanglefoot Chronicles: A Case Study
A little known Disney character, a clumsy but well-meaning horse named
Tanglefoot, became a licensing sensation by not being in a film - twice!
J.B. Kaufman explains.
Entertainment/Marketing/Exploitation Relationship: Two Takes
Buzz Potamkin takes a look at two books on the kids' biz: "What Kids Buy
and Why: The Psychology of Marketing to Kids" by Dan S. Acuff, and "The
Business of Children's Entertainment" by Norma Odom Pecora.