3D content viewing of international affairs to engage kids in current affairs

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If children don’t get used to getting the news from reliable sources, how will they be interested in accurate information as adults? How will media engage kids later if they don’t do it when they are growing up surrounded by multiple sources of information? How will they become critical thinking citizens if they don’t learn to get to know the world as soon as possible? Psychologists suggest news culture should begin as early as eight-years-old. But who will read mundane newspapers that have small black monotonous letters scrolled in a big white bundle of A1 sheets, especially if he is an eight-year-old kid?

Rather, imagine a platform that combines gaming-like storytelling and Augmented reality technology with a transmedia strategy (print, web and physical prop) and provided with specially created reports relating to current affairs that become 3D. It is no Harry Potter tale.



NEWSKID, one of the winners of GEN Summit 2015 (Barcelona) is an interesting app targeted at kids between 8 to 12 year-old, that explains current affairs to them in an understandable and immersive visual form, across platforms and objects. . It helps the press industry to engage young audiences, offering a very innovative service both in terms of the business model and in content approach and development

“As a journalist for 25 years my growing concern has been our industry inability to reach young audiences. Journalism for young readers is a great journalistic challenge, since reporting has to be extremely informative and entertaining, not taking anything for granted, not defeating their innate curiosity and, furthermore, turning reality into an exciting adventure to discover. At a time when the press industry is facing its most volatile decline, catering for the journalistic needs of children seems one of the most sensible investments, since it will give short and long term results, as the readers will grow older engaged in the brand,” Eva Domínguez, founder of NEWSKID, told BI.



We need to engage young audiences but what is more important is the need to let kids learn and value good journalism so they become better citizens.



Features

NEWSKID aims to reach a native digital audience through different times and situations (in school or home, online and offline). This approach has a strong storytelling purpose. A digital character breaks the borders of each platform exploring the factual reality through a physical object, a print product and a digital screen.

It focuses mostly on international coverage but it is also connected to local media, making the world easier to understand.

With the app, the print supplement and the cardboard prop become interactive and three-dimensional. The 3D character created as the main role of the storytelling becomes alive with augmented reality and children can play, interact and “talk” to it. With game-like exploration, kids take the role of this character to investigate an international event across different platforms.

“Kids can explore the different scenarios of the news and add their own reports online while having fun and satisfying their natural curiosity, as well as getting the feeling of achieving an important mission,” said Eva.

The app will be downloadable for free, and it’s extremely easy to use.


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Winning strategies

Eva told that while there are many news magazines, websites and TV programs for children, NEWSKID fills a gap, based on:

1. Using augmented reality to report on current affairs is a highly innovative solution for the media industry. 2. Licensing business model. It gives exclusivity to each media in their region at a very competitive price. 3. News core business focus.

“By engaging children to the main role of a news media children will associate news reporting to the newspapers brand, thereby building future loyalty regardless of the platform used. There are few educational platforms using augmented reality to teach subjects to children, but NEWSKID is pioneer in using this technology to explain current affairs to children,” she said.

She further said that they are planning to achieve an income of 200,000 euros per year after the third year of operation.



Business Plan

NEWSKID is an independent project that newspapers can license. This license agreement gives media exclusivity in their region so no other newspaper can have it. Pricing levels are defined by region exclusivity and platforms contracted. The licensing model gives clients an innovative service for much less than its full cost. It is based on a language + region exclusivity agreements. While each NEWSKID’s issue is centered on a main global affair, customization of content and special content requests will be considered in the pricing formula, said Eva.

“This allows each brand not only to access new audiences, but also to start building the bond of loyalty with children and their families. The publishing frequency (monthly or weekly) creates the need to keep purchasing and consumer each platform,” she added.



What next for NEWSKID

“We have developed the prototype of NEWSKID with the support of CREATIFI sub-grant program of the European Union. After pitching NEWSKID in public for the first time during the GEN Summit, we are now in contact with different media that are interested in licensing it. In the following months will be fine tuning the solution so that it can be delivered as a full commercial service next fall,” she said.

Though, Eva agrees that there are still gaps in the market, but the industry is ready and technology and market are at place to launch the app, whose seed was planted over 20 years ago when she was given the opportunity to be in charge of a new monthly magazine for children as a young reporter working for El Periódico de Catalunya, Barcelona.
(image and video credits: Minushu, Vimeo)
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