iKids Summer 2014

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ikids_Summer 2014 11 /mobile ew York-based Cupcake Digital's acquisition of competitor zuuka and its iStoryTime platform in March positioned it as one of the largest independent children's app developers, with a library of more than 250 titles, and a combined reach of more than 10 million downloads. While the kids app market is still in an explosive growth phase, with new garage developers arriving on the scene almost daily, this kind of consolida- tion is inevitable. "You'll see more, although it's still very early—it's the Wild West and everyone is experimenting," says Ira Mayer, executive B y A m a n d a B u rg e s s Mobile's newest match Developer Cupcake Digital is poised for growth after biting into its competition editor of New York-based industry resource The Licensing Letter. "You want to lock up the smartest people you can, lock up relationships with studios and IP owners. Both Cupcake and zuuka recognized the opportunity." Both companies have grown rapidly through licensing and subscription-based business models. When zuuka entered the market six years ago, it was one of the world's first developers of children's book apps and eBooks. "At the time, there was really no such thing as a children's eBook market, but we wanted one," says Graham Farrar, zuuka founder and now president of iStoryTime Inc. at Cupcake Digital. "At the time, my daughter was two, and she was attracted to the iPhone like a magnet, but the only content available for kids was movies and videogames. So we came in on the content side before digital storybook technology for kids existed, and then built the company up underneath it. We now have an IP catalog of more than 60 properties." Cupcake Digital joined the fray two years ago, in a much more developed market. "The more licenses we attract, the more apps we produce," says Brad Powers, Cupcake Digital chairman and CEO. "We've now surpassed the Released in March, the Strawberry Shortcake Color & Play app blends creative play with licensed characters N

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