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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Will the new Moshi Monsters online channel give magazine further sales boost?

Moshi Monsters Magazine - produced by Britain's Skyjack Publishing for the brand's owners, Mind Candy - will get a further boost to its already-phenomenal sales with the arrival of Moshi TV, a new online channel.

Describing the new channel as "YouTube meets Nickelodeon", Brad Schultz, the newly appointed head of Moshi TV says the UK-based social network, which  boasts more than 50 million pre-teen users will launch Moshi TV within weeks.

The Guardian reports that while the fine details are still being ironed out, Moshi TV will feature popular "moshlings" such as Dustbin Beaver and Lady GooGoo, alongside animations uploaded by users and syndicated content.

Schulz says that traditional rivals, including Disney and the BBC's CBBC, will struggle to keep up with children's shifting viewing habits without an online presence.

"Already the traditional TV model has been shattered," he argues. "Video platforms like YouTube are the standard in how kids want to engage with videos.

"The role of TV has changed. It used to be the centre of the house and that was your form of entertainment. Now TV is still a place where kids are getting information from, but once they see something on TV they immediately want to find the counterpart to it online. If you don't have that on TV and online, you're done."

Alongside an online popularity, Moshi Monsters has also grabbed the attention of fans who are buying Moshi Monsters Magazine in droves, making it the most popular children's magazine in the UK. The magazine has now reached a circulation of 113,748 according to ABC making it the top kids' magazine and one of the top 70 magazines in the UK.

Talking about the sales figures last month Emma Munro Smith, co-editor of Moshi Monsters Magazine, said it was incredible to have become the best selling children's magazine in the UK and "to have achieved such large numbers in a previously declining market.

"We're delighted with the results and with the incredible feedback we get from our fans... and there's still so much more to come!"

Moshi Monsters are virtual pet monsters that are growing in popularity. The website has 50 million registered users worldwide and there are plenty of tie-in real Moshi Monster products including toys, books, trading cards and a video game, which launched in August.

Launched in February, the 52-page magazine is packed with Moshi content, including comic strips, competitions, free gifts, puzzles, top secret hints and tips, character fact files and user-generated content.

Each issue also includes exclusive giveaways and unique codes that unlock new content within the online universe.

Commenting on the launch the CEO of Mind Candy, Michael Acton Smith said, "It's an unusual step launching a print-based magazine to support an established online community, but we think our audience is going to love it."

"Much of the content and ideas for the magazine was generated by our players, so it should feel very different to other kids' magazines. Print definitely isn't dead!'

And he's been proven right, suggesting ways forward, perhaps, that other print comics might emulate, armed with a decent online promotions budget.

• Moshi Monsters Magazine: www.moshimag.com

• Moshi Monsters:  www.moshimonsters.com - a free-to-play, fun-filled world of adoptable pet monsters. Half of all UK children aged 6-12 have a Moshi Monster – and one new player joins every second! 

• Skyjack Publishing: www.skyjackpublishing.co.uk

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