#BrandofMe research by Centennial College’s kidsmediacentre looks at kids’ online brand-building
Toronto, February 25, 2016 — Your monetization-savvy child may be making thousands of dollars from social media followers numbered in the millions. Gen Z and Millennials are the new influencers and marketing industry cash cows, according to new research by Centennial College’s kidsmediacentre. The study, known as #BrandofMe, explores the ethics and business models fuelling our youths’ fame-building obsession.
Children as young as five are the new content creators and teens everywhere are being pursued through their social feeds to (happily) shill product for big brands. Kids’ social media #instafame is revolutionizing the media and marketing industries, traumatizing advertising and marketing executives, and creating pre-teen entrepreneurs.
“After-school video production is the new arts and crafts, with children as young as five creating YouTube channels,” says Debbie Gordon, Director of kidsmediacentre and lead researcher. “Social media monetization inspired by the Kardashians is the new paper route. With a slowing economy, market malaise and YouTubers as the new celebrities, Gen Z and Millennials see content production as a viable career. Our kids are growing up expecting to have an audience, converting followers into real money.”
Centennial College’s kidsmediacentre launches Ethical Review for Children’s Digital Content Creators
For Immediate Release – September 5, 2013 – Toronto, Ontario
The kidsmediacentre, a children’s industry research centre at Centennial College’s School of Communications, Media and Design in Toronto, today announced the launch of an Ethical Framework and Best Practice Review of the children’s digital industry in Ontario.
This is a groundbreaking ethics and privacy study for children’s digital media – a first in Ontario. At a time when youth are racking up big bills for in-app purchases or being rewarded with in-game currency if they post to Facebook, the report provides children’s content creators with a framework of marketing best practices and success criteria for ethical interactive development. The report also features case studies of more than 20 successful Ontario children’s publishers and in-depth reviews of key legal, child development and marketing practices. The report is funded by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) and Centennial College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre.
The kidsmediacentre report coincides with the newly amended U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which took effect July 1, 2013. While COPPA is a U.S. regulatory framework, compliance is mandatory for Canadian developers who market interactive digital media (IDM) to children (under 13) south of the border and who specifically collect, use and disclose their personal information. The kidsmediacentre met with FTC and U.S. Safe Harbor regulators last month. The FTC made it clear the new regulations apply equally to developers of apps and online properties who use children’s personally identifiable information (PII) for marketing purposes (i.e. to serve ads, encourage information sharing, integrate social media features). It also promised prosecutorial action for developers in the U.S. and abroad (including Canada) who fail to comply and secure verifiable parental consent.
According to Debbie Gordon, Director of the kidsmediacentre, many new Ontario developers of kids’ digital media are unaware of the full range of privacy and legal guidelines. “The kidsmediacentre report reviews children’s privacy and personal information guidelines for COPPA and Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), providing regulatory overviews and guidelines for both” says Gordon. The report compares advertising regulations in the Canadian Broadcasting Act with the current regulation-free advertising landscape in apps. It also summarizes Apple (iOS) and Google Play (Android) age regulations and introduces developers to the concept of Safe Harbor. “We wanted the report to be a “one-stop shop” for Ontario developers eager to brush up on the wide swath of child-related marketing and regulatory considerations,” says Gordon.
The kidsmediacentre report reviews child development based learning outcomes that developers may want to consider when designing the game mechanics and emotional drivers that make up the user experience. The report looks at an ethical framework of choices (PIX Index) available to conscientious developers and the strong business case to be made for child-first – vs consumer-first – content creation.
Importantly, it considers the wide range of marketing and monetization tools being used by Ontario app and web site developers to reach young users and their parents. The kidsmediacentre interviewed twelve of the province’s top children’s digital producers to better understand their marketing and monetization practices and the legal, ethical and developmental considerations that frame the development of their interactive content. These interviews point to a significant range in awareness and attitudes around children’s marketing, particularly when it comes to incorporating social media and community brand-building tools. Interviews also shine a light on many of the successful, entrepreneurial developers using ethical development as their “north star” and key brand ethos.
Interactive Ontario will be presenting highlights from the kidsmediacentre report and explore COPPA, PIPEDA and children’s digital privacy, at their iLunch, September 25, at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre in Toronto. More information on the event can be found here: ilunch121.eventbrite.ca
Centennial College’s kidsmediacentre announces a range of new opportunities for children’s content developers in Canada
Info Session: Thursday, March 15, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The kidsmediacentre at Centennial College’s Centre for Creative Communications is inviting for-profit children’s content producers and developers to an information session to learn about new college-based funding and grant opportunities. Supporting the children’s industry and helping children’s producers bring new technologies, properties and innovative cross-platform ideas to life is a key focus for Centennial College. Opportunities are available to secure:
- Student time
- Faculty consulting
- Access to testing facilities
The information session will be held on Thursday, March 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Centre for Creative Communications, 951 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, room 297 (directions).
Seating at the information session is limited. To register or for more information, please contact Andrew Miller at 416-289-5200 ext. 2916 or [email protected]
Info Session: Thurs. Feb 24 at 5:30 p.m.
Toronto, February 2011 – The Centre for Creative Communications, Centennial College, is seeking innovative and forward-thinking proposals from Canadian media, interactive, creative, technology, business and social entrepreneurs for the next wave of children’s media and multi-platform projects to qualify for $50K federal development grants. The new kidsmediacentre, an industry and creative content think tank at Centennial College, will hold an Information Session to interested developers, on:
- Thursday, Feb 24 at 5:30 p.m., at The Centre for Creative Communications, located at 951 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, RM 253. (directions)
New Innovation Facility for Industry
Toronto, May 18, 2010 – Toronto could soon be the newest and most important hub for children’s entertainment production in the world. Centennial College is launching its Centre for Children’s Entertainment and Media in support of the growing, multi-billion-dollar children’s entertainment industry.
Designed to respond to the changing buyers’ market, the new centre will be academic-based, cross-platform and industry-driven, with an emphasis on research and innovation. Industry players will have a new resource for creating content, finding new applications for existing content, and working with teams of students who will be the next leaders in children’s media.