Bruce Resnikoff, President & CEO, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), announced today a partnership with two leading music industry executives, Rick Dobbis and Richard Ellis, to create myKaZoo Music and myKaZootv, two multi-platform children’s and family entertainment companies designed to reach parents and kids where they live today. Together, the new companies will bring a fresh approach to family music, presenting top kid-centric artists via new media platforms and marketing initiatives designed to expand the category.
Headquartered in Los Angeles and New York, myKaZootv (http://www.myKaZootv.com) launches in January with a 24/7 interactive kids’ music video channel. In addition, the myKaZoo Music label (http://www.myKaZoomusic.com, in partnership with UMe, will debut on February 7 with Farmer Jason’s Nature Jams. Other artists newly signed to the myKaZoo Music label include Barry G and the Dream Jam Kids, Randy Kaplan, and Zak Morgan. “We are excited about partnering with Jason for our first release. Beginning with this incredible collection of songs and our future artists releases, we will bring family entertainment brand to a broad, new audience,” said Resnikoff.
myKaZoo Music and myKaZootv enter the children’s entertainment scene at a time when 80 percent of children under age 5 use the Internet and 60 percent of children under ages 3 watch videos online (Ganz Cooney Center), and when 1 in 4 mothers allow their preschool children to interact with a mobile phone (Parenting Group/BlogHer). The company aims to tap into new marketing opportunities to reach today’s super-connected families, while tapping into the similar explosion of professionally produced, smart and child-appropriate programming that the savviest family music artists create every day.
myKaZoo is a joint project of Rick Dobbis, former president of Sony Music International and owner of the entertainment company R-DOG, LLC , and Richard Ellis, founder and owner of the youth entertainment marketing company 12to20 and a former major music label executive.
myKaZootv and myKaZoo Music will both focus on content acquisition and wide-ranging marketing programs:
Signing and promoting top family music artists, with new artists and properties coming on board every year. Supporting the creation of recorded music and videos Launch of My KaZoo TV, the always-on and interactive music video channel for kids. Creation of licensed products relating to artists and music Television programming development National concert tours (including partnerships with arts centers, camps, malls and schools). New media content development (apps, cable TV video-on-demand programming, child-friendly tablets and other devices) International content development, marketing and distribution Partnerships with non -profit organizations that empower youth and support music education. "We see a vast potential in the $1.2 billion children’s entertainment genre," says Ellis. "There are hundreds of independent artists around the country making great music and videos with little coordinated access to national publicity, marketing and distribution. We aim to create a next-generation music distribution and marketing company to reach parents and children where they live – online and via new technologies." Dobbis agrees, saying, "We are evangelists for the category. We believe in what these artists are creating and want to give this underdeveloped genre the support and exposure it deserves."
The first release for myKaZoo Music is Farmer Jason’s Nature Jams (February 7 2012), which offers a high-value, kid-friendly gift package of 16 original songs, 4 music videos and a colorful 20-page booklet. Farmer Jason sings along with special guest artists (including Mike Mills from R.E.M., Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, Iris DeMent, Brandi Carlile, Hank Williams III, Webb Wilder and Tommy Ramone of The Ramones) about nature and active play. With these engaging songs and videos, Farmer Jason and “buddies”- hope to motivate children to get outside and experience nature firsthand. myKaZootv will also premiere additional music videos based on these songs in early 2012. Farmer Jason is Jason Ringenberg, also known for his alt-country band Jason and the Scorchers. This regularly touring artist has also built a fervid international fan base for his kids’ music and public TV videos.
Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) is the centralized U.S. catalog and special markets entity for Universal Music Group. Working in conjunction with all of the company’s record labels, UMe provides a frontline approach to catalog management, a concentration of resources, a greater emphasis on strategic marketing initiatives and opportunities in new technological fields. UMe is also designed to aggressively develop a cohesive and strategic approach to maximizing catalog repertoire by initiating and implementing integrated marketing campaigns, direct to consumer programs, brand management initiatives and strategic partnerships.