As the CEO of Twin Sisters Digital Media, Karen Mitzo Hilderbrand has led the company through 30 years of dynamic changes in the music and now publishing industry. We take time to profile the success of Twin Sisters Digital Media and Karen Mitzo, looking to uncover the secrets of their success.
Twin Sisters Digital Media started out as a record label that was dedicated to teaching children through music. The company’s discography grew to the 3300 songs written, recorded, and fully owned by the twin sisters.
When Napster changed the music scene with the idea of all music being “free”, Karen knew the company had to adapt and change to keep ahead of the game. Most major record labels were out of business, and/or consolidated to the big four within a few years. During this time, in 2006, Twin Sisters shifted from only music products to becoming a more rounded educational products company servicing the retail segment. Also, they started their digital distribution with the start of iTunes.
When the same thing started to happen in the publishing industry with the expansion of the iPad and other tablets, books and children’s media were heavily also going digital – all while the traditional book publishers were struggling. At this time, Karen knew that there had to be big changes to Twin Sisters in order to make it through these times. Shutting down the publishing company in 2014, the Twin Sisters focused solely on building a comprehensive sustainable recurring revenue stream through intellectual property licensing of their content. Twin Sisters Digital Media was then rebranded and thousands of innovated products were added to the line over the course of the next several years.
The team invested in a central database of all of their content, called Pub Hub, that could easily be distributed to their hundreds of growing partners.
Their main content areas include: • Songs – (3300+) • Digital Albums – (550+) • Audio Books – (700+) • E-Books – (500+) • Video’s – (250+) • Sheet Music (100+) • Teacher Resources (1000+) • Sound Effects (200+) • Art Library (15,000+) • Photo’s (250+) • Apps (15+) • Augmented Reality Books (15+)
Keeping up with the technical changes the books are enhanced with audio, video, and animations and projects are being explored with AR and VR components to aid in the learning experience.
Customers include music streaming sites such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and more. E-Book sites include EPIC, Meegenius, Farfaria, SCRBD, and hundreds more! Audio book sites such as Playaway and video sites such as YouTube also showcase the Twin Sister’s products. Physical products are licensed to various large publishers worldwide such as Barbour Publishing, Landoll, PBS Publishing, Bendon International, and Scholastic Asia. Endless accounts are now providing ways for children to learn on phones, tablets, smart boards, and computers.
The Twin Sisters and their staff is developing over 150 new products per quarter in these segments in order to grow all of the different digital channels. (All product copyrights are fully owned by the twin sisters in Twin Sisters IP, LLC.)
By keeping up with AR, VR, EPUB, HTML 5 and other innovations in publishing the company plans on being the leader in providing content to companies specialising in educating children.
Karen’s past experience as an Industrial Engineer brings warehousing, distribution, logistics, project management, technical and financial management skills to the organization. Her recognising industry trends and being adaptable, has helped the company succeed for over 30 years, which is why she was chosen as one of the 50 SMART Business Owners of 2017 award for Innovation.
Company: Twin Sisters Digital Media
Contact: Karen Hilderbrand
Address: 1653 Merriman Road, Suite L-1,Akron, Ohio, 44313, USA