Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nick Has The App For That

I believe that Nickelodeon's slower entry into the mobile app space just might pay off.  Rather than rush in with an assumption of their users' behavior, "Nickelodeon has spent the last two years asking 9- and 10-year-olds what they want to watch on the iPad. The result: Very little actual television."  And judging by my own kids' behavior, I couldn't agree more.  "Instead of simply making its programs available on tablets, Nickelodeon designed its first app as a noisy, colorful smorgasbord of animated clips, irreverent music videos and the occasional deluge of the network’s trademark green slime."

My daughter falls right into their world and while we watch all the shows, either live or on DVR, her online use is not about watching the same shows; rather, online she is playing games, interacting with friends, and watching clips.  As the majority of her online use is in the home, her iPad doesn't replace the TV, it provides its own unique added value.  It is clear that the Nickelodeon app is designed to do the same, to expand the value of the brand through other means, not long form shows.  Not that those shows should be ignored on the device; for the sake of TV Everywhere, making shows available makes sense.  It just shouldn't be the centerpiece of the app's value.

"Nickelodeon’s strategy — based on extras rather than episodes — signals how Viacom may approach apps for its other cable channels, including MTV, Comedy Central and VH1. Until this week, Viacom had not introduced authenticated apps for its channels, unlike Time Warner’s HBO and its popular HBO Go app."  Will an adult's use mimic a child's, I'm not sure.  But I do believe that it involves being creative, ever changing, and always seeking to build the next big thing.  As "Harlem Shake" has proved, anything can go viral and kids love discovering the next cool thing.  For that matter, so do adults.