iStoryTime has been a major player in the digital book space with their primary business model centered around kids content. They company was originally founded in 2009 and secured $2 million dollars in funding, they have been growing ever since. Today, iStoryTime has announced they have opened up a singular bookstore on iOS, in which all of their titles will be available.
In the past, all iStorytime digital titles were singular apps you had to download individually. Many people might be remiss and have not heard of the company before but iStoryTime works with major studios to license content, including all of DreamWorks’ movies, plus content from Sony, PBS, Jim Henson, Cartoon Network, Mattel, and others. Its collection of apps and e-books offers a ton of recognizable kids’ brands, including Smurfs, Madagascar, How To Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, Ice Age, Barney, “The Croods”, and many others.
“For a long time, we’ve been doing one app, one story,” explains iStoryTime co-founder Graham Farrar, who previously was a part of the founding team at Sonos. “Now we’ve launched our iStoryTime library as the second phase of our strategy – we’ve built the content library, now we’re building the distribution side,” he says.
The new bookstore is now available only on iOS and incorporates all of their past titles in a singular entity. Many other kids bookstores have adopted the freemium models which constantly prompts for buying decision and puts parents in a position of having to say no. Kids will only have access to their bookshelf, while parents will have access to the bookstore. This should prevent drama of kids begging that they want the new Disney book.
Instead of buying each title separately, iStoryTime has created a new subscription service that will allow them to download all of the content from the store. The current rates are $5.00 a month and can be purchased by six months or one year increments.
iStoryTime also introduced an interesting feature through a partnership with TapJoy. Parents can optionally engage with advertisers behind the parental lock in order to gain points which can be applied to storybook purchases. For example, a parent may be asked to “like” Samsung on Facebook, watch a commercial, try out Hulu, get an insurance quote, and other activities, to earn these points. The points are transferred into the app’s wallet, and can then be used to buy books. This is the same system that the Archie app for iOS uses, and has been getting rave reviews.
Interested parents can download the new iStoryTime for iOS app here on iTunes.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.