Epic! launched its 12-and-under service on iPad today, bringing what it claims to be thousands of titles from well-known publishers to children’s devices for just $9.99 a month. This venture was made possible through the $1.4 million in seed funding from Menlo Ventures, Webb Investment Network, Innovation Endeavors, Maven Ventures, Morado Ventures and others.
Epic! is addressing two of the major concerns surrounding kids’ tablet reading right now. The first can be traced back to the recent scandal of inappropriate content being intentionally shelved in the children’s ebook sections of major retail websites. The second, and perhaps a more widespread source of concern, is related to studies that show children are too capable of switching over to a game, movie, or other source of entertainment while using a tablet, rather than reading.
“Kids love books, but they spend most of their time playing games and watching videos on their tablets rather than reading,” said Kevin Donahue, Co-Founder of Epic!. “As a dad, I wanted to build a product that would allow children to continue using the devices they love, but engage them with an epic reading experience.”
Epic! is only the most recent platform aimed at meeting a need that was discovered by concerned parents. iStoryTime co-founder Graham Farrar has spoken publicly about the need to be able to amuse their kids by handing them a device–say, while waiting in a restaurant–but finding very little viable and easily accessible educational content, leading to the creation of the platform.
In addition to a free trial through the free iPad app and incentive pricing ($79.99 per year, as opposed to the standard monthly rate), Epic! features include:
- Unlimited access to thousands of curated, high quality children’s books from the world’s best publishers
- Personalized book recommendations based on age and interests
- Instant streaming – no waiting for books to download
- Badges and rewards for reading achievements
- Ability for kids to rate books and collect their favorites
- Offline reading when not connected to Wi-Fi
The Epic! app is available now from the App Store.