An inside look: Nickelodeon’s new iPad app rises to the top of iTunes

By Natan Edelsburg 

You can officially get slimed…on the second screen. Nickelodeon‘s new iPad app, “Nick App” (available for iPad here), hit iTunes on Thursday and has already risen to the number two spot in the U.S. for free apps. The new app is a game changer in the kid’s TV world as younger demographics can’t understand why old media isn’t touchable.  We spoke with Nick Digital Senior Vice President Matthew Evans about the big launch.

How Nick is creating a fun and safe social experience within the Nick App:

“We just launched our Nick App,” explained Evans. The app he described is, “tailored to the platform for this audience, and includes interactive surprises.” He described how social share for their young demographic doesn’t have anything to do with Twitter or Facebook. “One of the key things that we have discovered in our 6-11 audience range, is that social and sharing is turning,” a device back and forth – exactly how kids enjoy toys. “With that we didn’t prioritize a lot of social sharing features into this experience, our target audience is under 13,” he explained. “That said we are displaying tweets from our stars, one of the goals is to give kids the ability to connect stars with their fans, to hear directly from the stars and explain the tweets in a great way,” he added.

Additionally, Nick’s millions of Facebook and Twitter fans are being safely exposed to the new app through hilarious and interactive ads, graphics and backgrounds that make you want to download the new second screen experience immediately.

The major features:

  • Full-length episodes in the Nick App can be accessed by households that subscribe to a TV service package with Nickelodeon from any one of eight distributors, including AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, DIRECTV, RCN, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS, which collectively reach almost 50 million homes.
  • An offering of HTML5 games at launch, with a new game added every week;
  • Music and remixes, including an original SpongeBob SquarePants remix, created by electronic music artist Pogo, for launch;
  • Weekly videos offering tips and previews of new Nick games;
  • Short-form content featuring Nickelodeon’s live-action stars performing skits, comedic music videos, parodies and more;
  • “On the Road with BTR,” a docu-reality series that gives kids an inside look at the daily lives of Big Time Rush;
  • Nick Studio 10, a new live, daily afternoon show where four kids challenge each other to make funny content every day, will be featured in the app and air on Nickelodeon beginning this spring.
Who helped build the app?
Nick worked with Fantasy Interactive (Fi), whose other clients include Google, USA Today and Sony. They’ve also built Nick’s Kid’s Choice Awards app, an experience that is now part of the Nick App.
Getting addicted to the new Nick App:
As Evans described kids love to turn things and touch them and pull them. After playing around with the app for over an hour, it’s clear that adults love to as well. Here are five reasons why the new Nick App is extremely addictive and a major milestone in the growth of the 33-year-old kids brand.
1. You can officially get slimed on the second screen via an hilarious “Do Not Touch” button. If there’s one thing kids and adults love, it’s pressing buttons that you’re not supposed to. One of the Nick App’s most fun features is their addictive Do Not Touch button which results in a series of visual screen take overs if you keep pressing it. Here’s one where I got slimed.
2. You can pull, twist and stretch slime for hours and hours.
3. The advertisements are fun pieces of content that are organically integrated into the experience. Here’s one for The Croods, a film coming out on March 22nd.
4. You can vote for the March 23rd Kid’s Choice Awards right within the app.
5. As you favorite which stars you like most, your “grid” will start populating with more content geared towards your favorite Nick personalities.
What’s next?
Evans described that versions for iPhone and iTouch will be available in the next few weeks and then they’ll continue to role out onto more devices. Whether you’re 5, 10, 25, or 55 – it’s worth playing around with this fun and addictive second screen experience.