Storybutton, a brand new audio participant for teenagers, goals to be the go-to different to screened gadgets for the 12 and underneath 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 gadget is available in three types: inexperienced/black, purple and white. A Wi-Fi connection is required.
The corporate started delivery its gadgets in August and offered 1,500 models throughout the U.S. and Canada. The corporate will broaden to Australia and the U.Ok. in 2024. Clients can solely buy Storybutton by means of its web site, nevertheless, the corporate is in talks with a number of retailers, Jacob revealed to TechCrunch throughout an interview.
The gadget gives over 10,000 tales designed for teenagers ages 5-12, starting from audiobooks and bedtime tales to academic tales, animal content material and extra. There’s additionally an choice for kids to construct their very own playlist of favourite episodes.
Storybutton might enchantment to oldsters who need their children to have a screenless gadget to regulate on their very own and entertain themselves with. The corporate discovered that 85% of children use their dad and mom’ cell gadgets to hearken to their favourite podcasts.
In contrast to different audio gamers for teenagers, corresponding to Yoto and Tonies, Storybutton’s content material is totally free. In the meantime, Yoto requires clients to buy separate playing cards to insert into its gadget, and Tonies sells collectible figurines that customers place on prime of the field (much like Nintendo Amiibos).
Most Storybutton content material could be discovered on standard digital music providers, nevertheless, the corporate has lately been investing in unique unique reveals. Storybutton plans to supply 9 unique podcasts over the subsequent 12 months and a half. Whereas the primary two seasons of every unique present will probably be out there in every single place, all of the third seasons will probably be unique to Storybutton.
Storybutton additionally lately partnered with iHeartMedia to launch a brand new kid-focused podcast community to assist creators monetize their reveals. Podcasts already signed to the community embody “Koala Moon,” “Unicorn Bedtime Tales,” in addition to Mr. Jim’s portfolio of reveals— “Bedtime Tales with Mr. Jim,” “Spyology Squad,” “Children Brief Tales” and “Children Animal Tales.”
The iHeartMedia partnership is notable because the large media company will profit kid-friendly audio creators who need to promote their reveals 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 permits the corporate “to usher in different child podcasts to soundly develop and monetize their reveals,” Jacob advised us. “That’s one of many large challenges in child podcasting right this moment; a whole lot of creators and studios have actually nice reveals, however monetizing it in a compliant and protected approach may be very tough.”
Individually, Storybutton additionally signed 25 profitable child podcasts to distribution agreements, together with reveals from GoKidGo, ABF Inventive, Lingokids and plenty of others. The corporate says it’s investing $500,000 within the child podcast economic system.
Wanting 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 cellphone. Dad and mom may also have the ability to report their very own tales or ebook readings to make out there on Storybutton. The app may also grant entry to ad-free variations of Storybutton Community reveals. Storybutton Plus is launching in November.
Additionally on the long-term roadmap, the corporate is exploring different options to carry to future variations of the gadget, like Bluetooth functionality and a notification function that tells customers when a brand new episode of their favourite present simply dropped. Storybutton can be engaged on AI-powered options that can allow customers to create content material. For instance, a choose-your-own-adventure choice the place children can work together with content material by means of the gadget.
“Over the subsequent 5 years, we goal to make Storybutton the go-to off-screen platform for audio content material globally,” Jacob stated. “With continued product enhancements and content material partnerships, we envision a future the place everybody has entry to a world of creativeness, training and wellness by means of Storybutton.”