Leaders in the children’s entertainment and publishing industries have joined forces to launch Speakaboos, an education-focused, multi-platform storybook subscription service.
Delivered directly to consumers in homes, schools and libraries internationally, the service helps children age 2-6 read, explore and discover the books they love in a world of interactive storybooks.
The interactive literacy platform released in 2011 in beta website form and will formally launch this month with its iPad application. It plans to release and updated website and Android interactive pictures books in coming months.
Speakaboos was developed in a two-on-two media fashion, Associate Publisher Noelle Millholt said. First, it acquired a venture development fund that helped it fill the gaps between traditional and digital reading. Second, it partnered with large publishers and content owners to help them digitize their books, bringing titles to a platform where kids are increasingly spending their time.
Adults aiming to engage children in digital reading often have to download individual paid apps to build a library. With a subscription service like Speakaboos, it is less expensive to provide children with an expansive digital library.
“The mission behind the app and Speakaboos overall is to provide parents with a one-stop-shop for children’s books. Rather than paying for each book download individually, parents pay $5/per month for the entire library,” Millholt explained.
The company targets two different markets: the $10 billion read-to-learn market, primarily found in North America, and the $40 billion learn-to-read market, primarily found worldwide.
To reach the learn-to-read market, Speakaboos is working to build partnerships. Most recently, the company has entered a partnership with Kyowon Publishing in Korea to bring produce content that will help children in South Korea how to read.
What makes Speakaboos unique is that it is run by a team of seasoned experts.
Children’s education expert Dr. Alice Wilder is responsible for defining the content vision, educational pedagogy and strategy for all of Speakaboos’ future releases. She is also behind the development of well-known television shows including Nick Jr.’s Blue’s Clues and PBS Kids’ SuperWHY!.
The platform’s product team comes from Nickjr.com, where they helped build a streaming video site for children globally.
“We realized we needed experts to boost our presence in the space. It’s what sets us apart and helps us really engage children using strong, tested pedagogy and product development,” said Millholt. “The content team works to ensure all titles are comprehensive, engaging and developmental by testing them on groups of children.
Once a title tests successfully, the team curates it in the Speakaboos library.
As Speakaboos’ boasts unique expertise in digital storybook production, educational positioning and multi-channel content delivery, it has attracted attention from a wide range of publishers and content providers.
The company is currently gearing up for its official launch and working to continue growing its content licensing distribution to bring a level of interactivity unparalleled by traditional e-books.
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