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Babies Are Bundles of Love, Joy -- and Money

11 Oct, 2003 By: Kurt Indvik

Babies are more than cuddly, cooing little bundles of joy; they're the newest target audience in the home-entertainment world.

After the phenomenal success of Buena Vista Home Entertainment's “Baby Einstein” franchise, scores of other titles leapt onto the market with hopes of capturing a fingerhold in this powerful, lucrative market fueled by the DVD format.

“As retailers saw the rapid growth of this new category, they became more open to additional titles,” said Jeff Jacobson, president of MoPo Home Entertainment. “Producers also recognized this trend and developed competing and alternative product to satisfy growing demand.”

These infant-targeted videos bank on the “Mozart Effect,” or the notion that exposing babies to great works of art, music and sensory stimulation can lead to improvements in verbal ability, spatial intelligence, creativity and memory.

Focusing on the stimulating effects of laughter in infants through bonding-enhancing activities is Giggle Together! from Make Baby Laugh. This direct-to-video title, which streeted Sept. 23, is $14.95 on VHS and $17.95 on DVD.

“I saw a real opportunity ... to create a line of products that would ultimately add to our children's joy and laughter,” said Dean Rutter, president and founder of Make Baby Laugh. “Because DVDs are both interactive and can support enhanced functionality when played on computers, the world opens up. This increases loyalty and enhances the product's overall value.”

Seeing strength in numbers, MoPo Home Entertainment and StudioWorks Entertainment will partner up for distribution of the popular “Jukebox Adventures Series” containing such baby-themed hits as the award-winning Country Baby! and Star Spangled Baby!

“The infant/toddler group is so unique, as children develop more in this age range than in any other,” said Jacobson. “Establishing a lifelong bond between child, parent and music starts at this tender age.”

Using the world as a backdrop, Baby Laureate Inc. has created a line of baby videos titled “For the Love of …” For the Love of Art streeted Sept. 23, while For the Love of World Travel hits Nov. 4.

For the Love of Art combines images of 60 art pieces with classical music to provide a multi-sensory pacifier for infants. It is the winner of the 2003 Gold Award from the National Parenting Publications of America. It also earned a seal of approval from the Dove Foundation. For the Love of World Travel looks at the sights and sounds of various locations around the globe.

Other titles in this lucrative market include the “Brainy Baby” series, Baby Prodigy and Fox Home Entertainment's Baby Songs.

A practical video for toddlers, All By Myself: Taking Care of My Pet, was released Sept. 9 by Ladybug Productions. It is $14.95 (VHS only).

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