Ruckus Media is one of the leading childern’s app developers that focuses exclusively on iTunes. The company has many licensing partners such as Hasbro, Sea World, the Wiggles singing group, and preschool TV series Dino Dan. In the past all of their various properties were standalone applications. This hindered parents and kids searching for new books because they had to search the companies newest works manually. Ruckus has recognized this factor and has developed the Ruckus Reader, which streamlines all of their content into a singular store experience.
The new Ruckus Reader takes all of their various apps for all of their online eBooks and puts it all in one place. In addition to its own content, the Ruckus Reader will sell children’s digital titles from other publishers and will provide a “Ruckus Meter” which will send weekly e-mail reports of a child’s reading progress.
In an interview with Publishers Weekly, the founder of Ruckus had this to say. “Discoverability is the most important thing,” said Richter about the launch of the reader. “We’re setting up a digital kids’ superstore.” The reader, which is available today in the iTunes store, is launching with more than 30 of Ruckus’s own apps in a mix of iReaders (digital storybook titles); eReaders (e-books); vidReaders (narrated video books;); and premium eReaders. The reader also includes 25 titles from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Richter said he expects to add more titles from other houses soon. In all, Richter plans to add about 20 new titles monthly, all aimed at children aged 3 to 8.
A new bookshelf on the Ruckus Reader will feature modest flexibility and will allow the grouping of apps by age group and publisher. The bookshelves are free to download and consumers get one free iReader title and samples of the two other titles on the shelf. “Everything begins with free,” said Richter. “The gaming industry has proved that free works.” Individual titles can then be bought for $3.99 and a subscription that includes unlimited access to all content for six months is $24.99.
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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.