Storybutton, a brand new audio participant for teenagers, goals to be the go-to various to screened gadgets for the 12 and beneath set. Created by kid-friendly podcaster Jim Jacob (“Mr. Jim”), Storybutton desires to enhance the best way children hear by shifting the podcast expertise off telephones and tablets.
Storybutton prices $99.99 and options an easy-to-use design with an inner rechargeable battery that lasts roughly a day, and a headphone jack so children can hear quietly round the home. The machine is available in three kinds: inexperienced/black, purple and white. A Wi-Fi connection is required.
The corporate started delivery its gadgets in August and bought 1,500 items throughout the U.S. and Canada. The corporate will increase to Australia and the U.Okay. in 2024. Clients can solely buy Storybutton by its web site, nonetheless, the corporate is in talks with a number of retailers, Jacob revealed to TechCrunch throughout an interview.
The machine provides over 10,000 tales designed for teenagers ages 5-12, starting from audiobooks and bedtime tales to instructional tales, animal content material and extra. There’s additionally an possibility for kids to construct their very own playlist of favourite episodes.
Storybutton may enchantment to folks who need their children to have a screenless machine to regulate on their very own and entertain themselves with. The corporate discovered that 85% of youngsters use their mother and father’ cellular gadgets to take heed to their favourite podcasts.
Not like different audio gamers for teenagers, equivalent to Yoto and Tonies, Storybutton’s content material is totally free. In the meantime, Yoto requires prospects to buy separate playing cards to insert into its machine, and Tonies sells collectible figurines that customers place on high of the field (much like Nintendo Amiibos).
Most Storybutton content material could be discovered on well-liked digital music companies, nonetheless, the corporate has just lately been investing in unique unique exhibits. Storybutton plans to supply 9 unique podcasts over the following 12 months and a half. Whereas the primary two seasons of every unique present can be out there in all places, all of the third seasons can be unique to Storybutton.
Storybutton additionally just lately partnered with iHeartMedia to launch a brand new kid-focused podcast community to assist creators monetize their exhibits. Podcasts already signed to the community embody “Koala Moon,” “Unicorn Bedtime Tales,” in addition to Mr. Jim’s portfolio of exhibits— “Bedtime Tales with Mr. Jim,” “Spyology Squad,” “Children Quick Tales” and “Children Animal Tales.”
The iHeartMedia partnership is notable for the reason that huge media company will profit kid-friendly audio creators who wish to promote their exhibits to a wider viewers. As a part of the deal, iHeartMedia offers promotional media, advert gross sales and operational assist to all the child podcasts that Storybutton is signing to its community.
The brand new community allows the corporate “to herald different child podcasts to soundly develop and monetize their exhibits,” Jacob advised us. “That’s one of many massive challenges in child podcasting at present; plenty of creators and studios have actually nice exhibits, however monetizing it in a compliant and protected approach may be very troublesome.”
Individually, Storybutton additionally signed 25 profitable child podcasts to distribution agreements, together with exhibits from GoKidGo, ABF Inventive, Lingokids and lots of others. The corporate says it’s investing $500,000 within the child podcast economic system.
Trying forward, Storybutton plans to launch an app known as Storybutton Plus for fogeys that permits them to add or take away podcasts, audiobook recordsdata and music onto the Storybutton audio participant proper from their telephone. Mother and father may also be capable of document their very own tales or e book readings to make out there on Storybutton. The app may also grant entry to ad-free variations of Storybutton Community exhibits. Storybutton Plus is launching in November.
Additionally on the long-term roadmap, the corporate is exploring different options to deliver to future variations of the machine, like Bluetooth functionality and a notification function that tells customers when a brand new episode of their favourite present simply dropped. Storybutton can also be engaged on AI-powered options that may allow customers to create content material. For instance, a choose-your-own-adventure possibility the place children can work together with content material by the machine.
“Over the following 5 years, we intention to make Storybutton the go-to off-screen platform for audio content material globally,” Jacob mentioned. “With continued product enhancements and content material partnerships, we envision a future the place everybody has entry to a world of creativeness, schooling and wellness by Storybutton.”