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Archive for the ‘Apps’ Category

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Dear Friends, – by Brad Powers, Founder & CEO

April has been a tremendous month for Cupcake Digital Inc. and I’m extremely excited to share our exciting progress you.

App News:

April has not only been our strongest month for App production, but we continue to achieve top ranking positions for our releases on major distribution platforms.

In fact, yesterday Wubbzy’s Dance Party, an App released only this past Tuesday (4/23), achieved the “#1 Paid App” ranking for iPad in Apple iTunes books in just three days.

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Other April Releases Include:

pngApril 4: Wubbzy’s Magic School

In this feature-rich, deluxe storybook app, Wubbzy’s Magic School! After a day at Moo Moo the Magician’s Castle, the friends learn that magic really does happen when you believe in yourself and try your hardest.

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April 11: Wubbzy’s Space Adventure / Wubbzy en una Aventura Espacial

This is a very special release since it is our offering to include both an English and Spanish version within the same App.  Kids, parents, and caregivers now have the choice of language with which to listen to the narration or read the story themselves.

This initiative not only increases the addressable market for our Apps, but also expands our marketing capabilities.

We are currently working on adding a Spanish version to a series of English-only Apps in our existing library across all distribution channels.

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April 16: Animal Planet’s Hide and Seek Pets

Wubbzy’s Dance Party, an App released only this past Tuesday (4/23), achieved the “#1 Paid App” ranking for iPad in Apple iTunes books in just three days.

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This is our first App for Animal Planet marking the first property expansion for our library beyond Wow, Wow, Wubbzy.

We are extremely excited about both the sales generated and the reviews we have been getting.  Premium priced at $3.99, this App has already already reached the “#3 position” within HOT New Education Section on Amazon.

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Apr 25: Wubbzy’s Animal Coloring Book

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This marks the debut of our new coloring engine.  It will not only allow us to create “stand alone” coloring and activity books for all our properties, but it will also be integrated into all of our new Apps.
Looking Ahead:

Early May: Fraggle Rock “Fraggle Friends Forever”

This release will expand our App library to three active licensed properties.

As part of the preparations for its release, I have just returned from the 30th Anniversary Celebration for Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock in Los Angeles.  We have provided sneak peeks to several national media outlets. The feedback has been fantastic.

The App launch in early May will be supported by a significant media campaign in collaboration with the Henson organization.

In June: Strawberry Shortcake

We look forward to our first App release for American Greeting’s Strawberry Shortcake in June with great anticipation.

Strawberry Shortcake is an iconic children’s property and we are proud to be their licensed partner. This will be the fourth active licensed property in our growing App library.

Like all our properties, the launch of the Strawberry Shortcake App will be supported by a robust marketing campaign to increase sales rapidly.

Properties & Licensing Pipeline

We continue to make great progress in our property acquisition initiatives.  We are currently in the final stages of negotiation with several “A+” properties and will be making announcements about them shortly.

Continued Accolades for Cupcake Digital Apps

In addition to increased sales, the positive accolades for our Apps continue to keep pouring in.

We have received a tremendous amount of press with the release of our first dual language App, Wubbzy’s Space Adventure/ Wubbzy en una Aventura Espacial, both in online and traditional press.

We also continue to win awards from Famigo (a site that provides recommendations for kid-safe apps and content) and Appysmarts (a resource that helps parents choose the best apps for their kids).

For a full list of our reviews and awards please visit: http://www.cupcakedigital.com/testimonials/

Distribution Partnerships

One of the key stones of our marketing strategy is building strong relationships with our distribution partners.

Recent results of those relationships include:

1.  iTunes featuring Animal Planet Hide and Seek Pets and Wubbzy’s Dance Party in their New and Noteworthy section.

2.  iTunes also selected Wubbzy’s Pirate Treasure as a feature in a special “Apps for Preschool & Kindergarten” selection.

3.  Amazon also continue to feature Cupcake Digital Inc. Apps throughout their App store. Barnes & Noble is currently planning several “curated” mailings and site positions especially for us.

4.  New Position Paper Regarding Parental Guidelines for Children’s Apps

We are delighted to have recently published a new white paper based on an interview with Dr. Natascha Crandall, PH.D.  Dr. Crandall is a psychologist and educator with a special interest in enhancing children’s growth and development through the power of media. This paper explores Dr. Crandall’s findings on App use by children while also establishing a framework for the continuous improvement of our own Apps.

As part of the white paper we also included parent and caregiver guidelines for using Apps as a supplement to children’s learning.

To read the complete position paper, please visit:

http://www.cupcakedigital.com/blog/new-white-paper-features-dr-natachsa-crandall-on-apps-for-children/

Make Your Opinion Count: Download & Review a Cupcake App Today!

As always, if you have not already done so, please visit http://www.cupcakedigital.com/apps/ and click on the store icon of your choice (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play or Nook) to download our Apps on any mobile phone or tablet device.

Give it a test drive and make sure to write a review!

Encourage your friends, family and loved ones to do the same. Help us create a bigger viral buzz about the quality of our products.

Thank you for your on-going support! I will continue to update you on a regular basis.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Brad Powers

Chairman

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Leading App Developer Cupcake Digital Releases

Wubbzy’s Space Adventure, First in a Series of Spanish Language Enhanced Story Experiences

NEW YORK, NY (April 8, 2013) – Wubbzy’s Space Adventure, the first of Cupcake Digital’s popular enhanced story apps to give consumers the option of toggling between English and Spanish with the simple touch of a button, is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and for NOOK for $1.99, or as a free upgrade for those who have already downloaded the English-only version. It is an important initiative for the company to provide these story experiences for young children and parents who want high-quality apps in Spanish. By giving parents this choice, the company is meeting several objectives: supporting the needs of parents who want to experience the apps in their native tongue, providing a tool for bilingual parents who want their kids to practice Spanish and giving children a way to practice some basic language skills.  The Spanish narration and individually highlighted words in the app are designed specifically for teaching the basics of spelling and vocabulary and could be used to practice the language.

“We are incredibly excited to share our wonderful array of apps in Spanish,” said Brad Powers, Chairman of Cupcake Digital. “My wife is Hispanic and we had the idea that an app available in English and Spanish might be a good way to get my son excited about the language. When I was searching for Spanish language apps for him, I found there was very limited to no availability for the kinds of apps he would like. We recognized a need, and felt it was a choice we wanted to give consumers. We have made it our goal that every one of our story apps will be followed closely by a Spanish version, and we look forward to making them available in other languages as well.”

Wow! Wow! features include:

·      Now bi-lingual (English and Spanish): Being able to hear the same story in two languages allows for natural language acquisition through hearing a familiar story in another language

·      Three reading modes: Just a Book, Read to Me and Read & Play

·      Fun mini-games within the story

·      Three original sing-a-long music videos taken from the popular EmmyÒ Award-winning series

·      Coloring pages with scenes straight from the story

·      A Grown-Up’s Corner to guide parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing the story with kids

Wubbzy’s vibrant and exciting adventures in other top-rated apps will soon be available in Spanish, including Wubbzy’s Pirate Treasure, Wubbzy’s Train Adventure and Wubbzy’s Dinosaur Adventure and others. Wubbzy and friends are also interacting with Spanish-speaking fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as iWubbzy, iDaizy, iWidget and iWalden.

English Trailer with Intro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pbdWVxM9Lw

Spanish Trailer with intro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEOIJWBmjqs

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About Cupcake Digital

Cupcake Digital, Inc. was established in June 2012 with the intent of transforming children’s entertainment properties into deluxe story experiences infused with educational elements.    Its first venture into digital applications was based on the EmmyÒ Award-winning television series “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!Ò”  These apps immediately rose to # 1 and # 3 among children’s book apps on Amazon and iTunes respectively.  Since then, every subsequent children’s app created by Cupcake Digital has achieved a top 10 ranking on Amazon.  Headquartered in NYC, Cupcake Digital was founded by proven professionals in the fields of technology, family entertainment, publishing and brand marketing.  In October of 2012, Cupcake Digital received its first round of private funding and has since gone on to partner with additional major children’s entertainment properties.  For more information about Cupcake Digital Inc., please visit www.cupcakedigital.com.

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The $25B App Market–and the Odds You’ll Get a Piece of It

The so-called app economy is said to be worth billions. Sounds promising, right? Here’s a reality check.

Phone apps

The promise of the app economy can seem especially alluring to the tech entrepreneur set. Mobile is a hot market. The major smartphone and tablet platform owners have established marketplaces to let you get to customers and in exchange you give up only 30 percent in per-unit sales. That’s still better than retail stores. Plus, people are making bazillions. Well, an estimated $25 billion this year, according to Gartner, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Now everyone will want to become a programmer and take a chunk of that big number. The problem is, it’s a little too early to get excited. That big number is misleading, and most apps will be lucky to make enough to pay for their cost of development, never mind profits.

For years, the media, set off by Apple’s trying to tout the advantages of developing iPhone and iPad apps, have concentrated on the total money in the market. Only, there are some caveats.

One is that the $25 billion isn’t just money being spent on apps at the Apple or Google marketplaces. It also includes advertising and in-app purchases. That’s because Gartner also says that 90 percent of apps are free downloads. Why? Because if you don’t charge, you remove a barrier for people to at least try your app.

So, the $25 billion is being spread out over more than 1.4 million apps between both Apple and Google, according to Gartner. Time for some arithmetic: That translates into $17,847 dollars per app. That works out to $214,285 a year, or probably less than two salaries for full-time experienced developers, not counting benefits. In other words, two developers have to build that flashy and attractive app in one month. That’s a tight schedule.

Then you have to realize that the average amount listed is just that: an average. App downloads are not a level terrain. According to a report from analytics firm Distimo, in November 2012, the number of apps responsible for 10 percent of iPhone free app downloads was 31. The number of apps responsible for 10 percent of paid revenue was seven. The Journal refers to another Distimo stat that states only 2 percent to 3 percent of the top 250 publishers are newcomers.

According to iPhone app metrics firm 148Apps.biz, in November 2012 there were more than 721,000 active apps in the iPhone app store. Currently, there are 803,137 active apps.

Chances are slim that you’re going to make big money on paid apps. So say that you go the free route. That means you need people to keep using your application to see ads and place in-app purchases. Unfortunately, 63 percent of apps that people use daily are different from a year ago, and people focus on about eight apps at a time. Getting and keeping attention is far worse than a crap shoot.

It may be that you could have a hit with a new app. But keep those rose-colored glasses off the bridge of your nose. Not matter how attractive the total number is, making a significant amount of money on apps is a lot tougher than the media makes it sound.

Erik Sherman‘s work has appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Magazine, and Fortune. He also blogs for CBS MoneyWatch. @ErikSherman

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THE JIM HENSON COMPANY LICENSES CUPCAKE DIGITAL TO CAPTURE THE MAGIC OF CLASSIC FRAGGLE ROCK ANIMATED EPISODES REIMAGINED AS ENHANCED STORY APPS

 

Cupcake Digital Joins the 30th Anniversary Celebration of The Jim Henson Company’s Fan Favorite Children’s Television Series Fraggle Rock

NEW YORK, NY/Hollywood, ca (March 6, 2013) This spring, Cupcake Digital celebrates the 30th anniversary of Fraggle Rock, the classic series created by Jim Henson, by bringing interactive mobile appisodes based on the animated series to new and existing fans everywhere.  Beloved episodes, including “No Fraggle is an Island,” “Mokey’s Flood of Creativity,” “The Best of the Best,” and “The Great Radish Roundup,” will be developed into enhanced story experiences featuring the wonderful adventures of the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs. The series of apps is slated for development and release in 2013 and will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Barnes & Noble for the iOS, Android, NOOK and Kindle Fire platforms.

“Fraggle Rock has an enduring quality that has stood the test of time among parents who are eager to share the stories with their young children.  We are excited to be able to introduce the characters, their complex ecosystem and, most of all, the great music, in this new medium,” said Susan Miller, President of Cupcake Digital. “The stories of Fraggle Rock, the animated series, have a contemporary relevance that is perfect for engaging today’s kids in an interactive story experience infused with learning moments.”

Cupcake Digital’s mission is to deliver enhanced story app experiences that surprise and delight. Each app includes features such as three modes of reading, professional narration designed to help kids recognize words and sounds, opportunities for shared screen time for parents and kids, and educator-vetted learning elements within the apps and online that follow Common Core State Standards. Every Fraggle Rock app will be designed to take full advantage of the nostalgic graphics, timeless stories and fun interactions that are inherent to the original episodes of the television series.

“The team at Cupcake Digital has demonstrated a great affinity for Fraggle Rock and its original vision. It seems fitting that, as we celebrate 30 years of this great property, we have the opportunity to give it new life in a relevant and engaging way via these enhanced story app experiences,” said Melissa Segal, Executive Vice President, Global Consumer Products for The Jim Henson Company. “Loyal fans around the world have never stopped rocking along with Fraggle, and they will love that the spirit of the show and the music that is so much a part of the experience are fully captured within these apps.”

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FRAGGLE ROCK Synopsis

Created by Jim Henson, the series features a quirky and fun-loving group of cave-dwelling creatures in a world where three diverse, yet surprisingly similar, communities learn to live and work in harmony. The Fraggles love to sing and dance, work just thirty minutes a week and spend most of their days dancing their cares away. They are joined by their industrious neighbors, the Doozers, tiny green workers that build elaborate structures the Fraggles find irresistibly tasty; and the Gorgs, giant creatures who live in the garden above Fraggle Rock guarding their cherished radish patch. Through the fun of the Fraggle five: the level-headed, practical Gobo; spiritual, artistic Mokey; exuberant, athletic Red; nervous, indecisive Wembley; and worrisome Boober and the unique mix of music, from folk, blues and gospel to country and rock, the series entertains and encourages an understanding and embracing of diversity.

Premiering in 1983, Fraggle Rock was seen in 80 countries in over ten different languages. Fraggle Rock continues to enjoy a loyal international fan following.  In its 96 episodes, the show encouraged an understanding and embracing of friendship and diversity and featured a unique mix of music from all genres from folk, blues, gospel, country and rock.

About Cupcake Digital

Cupcake Digital, Inc. was established in June 2012 with the intent of transforming children’s entertainment properties into deluxe story experiences infused with educational elements. Its first venture into digital applications was based on the Emmy Award-winning television series “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” These apps immediately rose to #1 and #3 among children’s book apps on Amazon and iTunes respectively. Since then, every subsequent children’s app created by Cupcake Digital has achieved a top 10 rating on Amazon. Headquartered in NYC, Cupcake Digital was founded by proven professionals in the fields of technology, family entertainment, publishing and brand marketing. In October of 2012, Cupcake Digital received its first round of private funding and has since gone on to partner with additional major children’s entertainment properties. For more information about Cupcake Digital Inc., please visit www.cupcakedigital.com.

About the Jim Henson Company

The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy®-nominated “Sid the Science Kid,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Wilson & Ditch: Digging America” and “Pajanimals.” Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables” and television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.”


With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of “Stuffed and Unstrung,” a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 “Best Stage Shows of 2010” by Entertainment Weekly. Visit henson.com, join us on facebook.com/hensoncompany, and follow us at twitter.com/hensonparents.

 

Media Contacts:

Carmen Hernandez/Cupcake Digital/ 310-383-4875/ carmen.hernandez@cupcakedigital.com

Ann Schwarz/The Jim Henson Company/323-802-1667/aschwarz@henson.com

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Wubbzy’s Pirate Treasure

Kooky Kostume Kreator

Wubbzy’s Space Adventure

In a recent video, Carmen Hernandez of Cupcake Digital discusses how story apps for kids are great educational tools when used as part of an overall approach to education in the home. She also discusses the company’s approach to app development and marketing.

Hernandez is vice president of marketing and communications for Cupcake Digital, a digital media company that develops deluxe storybook and interactive game apps for preschool and elementary age kids, based on existing entertainment properties such as the Emmy Award-winning TV series “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” and Animal Planet. These apps enable children to have fun learning while they play with tablets, smartphones or e-readers.

Hernandez explains,

“When we look at an app or the idea of an app, we look not only at the narrative and the story, but we also look at the educational components, which is why it’s been really important to us to involve experts in early childhood education so that we work as a team.”

Wubbzy Grown-Up’s Corner

She says that the company’s ultimate objective is to go beyond the app’s development. For example, every “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” app has a marketing ecosystem built around it, which is something that can be great for parents who want to take interact with their children beyond the app itself. Parents can go to iWubbzy.com and onto social media platforms like Facebook to download free activities and videos they can experience with their children.

At the end of every Wubbzy app, Cupcake Digital includes a “Grown-Up’s Corner” as a guide to help parents have meaningful conversations with their kids after reading the storybook or playing with the games. Those questions are vetted by experts in early childhood education to make certain they are capturing the conversation points that will most benefit kids.

Hernandez’s 6-year-old daughter is one of Cupcake Digital’s “quality assurance experts.” She says her daughter loves to be part of the company:

“It’s really been fun for her to be one of our quality assurance experts. These apps, at the end of the day–while parents are making the purchasing decisions–they have to entertain kids. And so if they don’t entertain our kids, they aren’t going to entertain other kids. So we get our kids involved in the process of developing the app and reading it before it ever is seen by anyone outside of our company.”

View the full video below:

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