The Next Frontier: Telephones for Toddlers

Ernie - Rubber DuckieProducers of children’s TV shows are gearing up to offer mobile content suitable for toddlers — “you can’t ignore the convenience factor when people are in motion. A parent can pass back a telephone to the kids in the back of the car. And it’s a device that families are going to carry with them everywhere.” Sesame Street, respected for the educational value of its programming, already offers content through Verizon’s VCast service, Teletubbie creator Anne Wood is promoting a show designed to be delivered on mobile phones and game handsets, and studios Disney and Warner Bros are developing “mobi-toons”, which I should point out don’t necessarily have to be for children. (As an aside, a quick repackaging of some old cartoons like Bug Bunny would probably go ballistic in the marketplace, bringing good returns for very little investment).
One concern was this paragraph: “The potential for mini-entertainment is high although unpredictable because telecom and television executives do not know yet whether subscriptions or advertising will be the key source of revenue.” Children are very susceptible to misinformation, so I’d be very cautious about funding the children’s content with advertizing — I’d far rather pay a subscription service. I know advertizing is pretty ubiquitous, but I’d play “I Spy” between Sydney and Perth before saying “Here kids, have a look at this message from a junk food peddler for the next hour”.
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