12.30 friday 5th July. Showroom Cinema 3.
Stuart Dredge, whose producing Top 10 Trends in Children’s Apps, has a warning to CMC delegates: don’t assume every child has access to a smartphone or tablet in 2013, just because you work in the media industry – where everyone’s child probably DOES have access to one.
According to Ofcom, 28% of 5-15 year-olds in the UK owned a smartphone in 2012, while 9% went online using a tablet. These devices are growing fast, but it’s important not to get carried away with apps excitement.
That said, pretty much every big children’s brand – and hundreds of independent studios and developers – is releasing apps for kids in 2013, and trying to figure out how their characters and IP translate to the touchscreen world.
In my session at CMC 2013, I’m going to be talking about some of the trends I see as a journalist writing about children’s apps, both for The Guardian and my own Apps Playground site.
Some of those trends are creative: what’s happening in digital storybooks, games, education and creativity apps for children.
Other trends will be business-related: why most kids’ apps sink without a trace on the app stores, whether the Android and Windows platforms can pay off for developers, the role of HTML5 and mobile websites, and the popularity of some mobile-first children’s brands.
And while it’s not the focus of my session, I can’t ignore some of the ethical and regulatory questions bubbling around this sector, particularly in-app purchases, and whether some of the world’s biggest children’s brands should be selling virtual items in batches of up to £69.99 in value within their apps.
But the tone will be mainly positive: there’s some wonderful experimentation going on in children’s apps, and great opportunities for creators and rightsholders to team up with talented developers.
I’m also looking forward to meeting lots of people at the conference, to tell me what they’re up to with apps so I can write about them in the months ahead. Come and say hello!