Storybutton, a brand new audio participant for youths, goals to be the go-to various to screened gadgets for the 12 and below set. Created by kid-friendly podcaster Jim Jacob (“Mr. Jim”), Storybutton desires to enhance the best way children pay attention by transferring 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 pay attention quietly round the home. The gadget 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 offered 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 means of its web site, nonetheless, the corporate is in talks with a number of retailers, Jacob revealed to TechCrunch throughout an interview.
The gadget affords over 10,000 tales designed for youths ages 5-12, starting from audiobooks and bedtime tales to instructional tales, animal content material and extra. There’s additionally an choice for kids to construct their very own playlist of favourite episodes.
Storybutton may attraction 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’ cellular gadgets to hearken to their favourite podcasts.
Not like different audio gamers for youths, 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 gadget, and Tonies sells collectible figurines that customers place on prime of the field (much like Nintendo Amiibos).
Most Storybutton content material might be discovered on in style digital music providers, nonetheless, the corporate has not too long ago been investing in unique unique reveals. Storybutton plans to provide 9 unique podcasts over the subsequent yr and a half. Whereas the primary two seasons of every unique present might be out there in all places, all of the third seasons might be unique to Storybutton.
Storybutton additionally not too long ago 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,” “Youngsters Quick Tales” and “Youngsters Animal Tales.”
The iHeartMedia partnership is notable because the huge media company will profit kid-friendly audio creators who wish to promote their reveals to a wider viewers. As a part of the deal, iHeartMedia supplies 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 securely develop and monetize their reveals,” Jacob instructed us. “That’s one of many large challenges in child podcasting as we speak; a whole lot of creators and studios have actually nice reveals, however monetizing it in a compliant and protected means may be very troublesome.”
Individually, Storybutton additionally signed 25 profitable child podcasts to distribution agreements, together with reveals from GoKidGo, ABF Artistic, Lingokids and lots 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 enables them to add or take away podcasts, audiobook information and music onto the Storybutton audio participant proper from their cellphone. Dad and mom will even have the ability to file their very own tales or e-book readings to make out there on Storybutton. The app will even 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 convey 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 may 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.”