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Cartoon Network Keeps Innovating With “Mighty Magiswords” App

A novel new app connects a cross-platform story hub with content recognition software.

Cartoon Network Keeps Innovating With “Mighty Magiswords” App
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WHAT: Cartoon Network’s MagiMobile app connects Mighty Magiswords’ multi-story world across platforms and is the first children’s entertainment franchise app to use audio content recognition (ACR) technology.

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WHO: Cartoon Network CCO Rob Sorcher, digital VP Chris Waldron, and Mighty Magiswords creator Kyle Carrozza.

WHY WE CARE: The MagiMobile app continues an innovation streak that landed the Cartoon Network on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies 2016 list and earned the Cartoon Network app an Interactive Emmy Award. Magiswords, which premiered in September, follows sibling warriors who tackle quests with a collection of Magiswords. The app enables kids to collect magical swords that help them achieve tasks or direct the storyline, and increase their sword collections by watching the TV episodes and playing. It connects the multi-story universe across platforms—a TV series of 11-minute episodes and specials, 15-second interactive cartoons on the Cartoon Network app, YouTube vlog, games residing within the content, sword shop, and chat rooms.

But its coolest feature is ACR technology, which enables TV audio cues to automatically connect viewers to an episode-related sword online—a first use by a children’s franchise app, says the network. The app—free on iOS, Google Play and Amazon—can expand to accommodate future growth in content and revenue streams in collecting, gaming, and live events.

“The app is a landing page for a multi-story world,” says Sorcher. “I haven’t seen that done anywhere else. Usually apps are extensions of content and multi-story worlds. This was designed as part of the original master narrative—not created after the show.”

About the author

Susan Karlin, based in Los Angeles, is a regular contributor to Fast Company, where she covers space science, autonomous vehicles, and the future of transportation. Karlin has reported for The New York Times, NPR, Scientific American, and Wired, among other outlets, from such locations as the Arctic and Antarctica, Israel and the West Bank, and Southeast Asia

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