Mondo Media’s gory cult cartoon favorite, Happy Tree Friends, held the No.1 spot on iTunes top 10 podcasts over the 2005 holiday season. The series of animated shorts featuring cuddly, accident prone forrest creatures has ranked among the top five podcasts since debuting on on the iTunes mobile platform on Dec. 19.
‘Understanding that video iPods are the perfect device for viewing short, funny animated shows, we quickly adapted Happy Tree Friends into an iTunes Podcast,’ says Mondo Media CEO John Evershed. ‘It’s great to know that all those video iPods left in people’s stockings were used to watch Happy Tree Friends over the Christmas break. This is an exciting way for us to find new fans and provide an alternative means for our existing fans to view our content.’
Happy Tree Friends was launched in 2000 as a series of webisodes before making its way to DVD, television, mobile devices and merchandising avenues. Having successfully introduced the property to iPod users, Mondo Media is looking at sponsors and plans to insert 15-second advertisements in front of the episodes available on iTunes.
With its October, 2005 release, the new video iPod made a lot holiday wish lists and emerged as a hot gift item. With national holiday retail figures soon to be released, Apple is expected to report a 30% increase in iPod sales over last holiday season, and a 50% increase in iTunes traffic between Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.