How global toy brands are embracing and driving podcast popularity

By our News Team | 2022

American Girl, a premium toy and publishing brand for girls, recently unveiled its own podcast network. It joins the likes of Barbie.

This website has previously reported on the growth in popularity of podcasts in Africa and elsewhere.  So much so, that now even children’s toy brands are climbing on the podcast bandwagon.

American Girl, a premium toy and publishing brand for girls – and part of the global Mattel toy company – recently unveiled its own podcast network which, it says, “is rooted in the brand’s popular stories, characters, and real-world advice to connect and entertain girls, their parents and the entire fan community”.


Photo courtesy of American Girl

In embracing the podcast genre, the company joins several other toy brands that have gone this route. Among them are international doll brand Barbie, and Thomas and Friends. The latter offers books, TV programming and merchandise about a talking steam engine called Thomas the Tank Engine.

The American Girl Podcast Network is ad-free and launches with three original shows—one scripted and adapted from the brand’s fan-favourite published content for young readers, followed by two non-fiction podcasts with a mix of guest interviews, real-life advice, and behind-the-scenes exclusives.

Podcasting is a natural evolution of the brand

“With storytelling an intrinsic part of our DNA, the American Girl Podcast Network is a natural evolution for the brand, allowing us to tap into our vast collection of diverse content, as well as our numerous authors and subject-matter experts, to enrich and entertain our fans,” said Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl.

Distribution partner for the new initiative is Cloud10 Media, a full-service network that provides listeners with an outlet for best-in-class podcasts, while offering development, promotion, marketing and sales support.

“We know that podcast listenership among kids and teens continues to grow exponentially, and we are so excited to help American Girl bring their stories and inspired conversations to the next generation,” said Sim Sarna, Founder and CEO of Cloud10 Media.

The podcasts are available on all streaming platforms, on American Girl’s social channels, and on YouTube, which includes a video component.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.