ALEXA, READ ME A STORY: AUDIO CONTENT FOR KIDS ON THE RISE
Techlife News|Techlife News #431
ALEXA, READ ME A STORY: AUDIO CONTENT FOR KIDS ON THE RISE
Melanie Musson in Belgrade, Montana, does a lot of driving with her four girls. Juggling a broad age range, 1 to 9, she’s forever searching for ways to keep them all entertained without relying entirely on video.

While she still adores paper and tablet books for her kids, Musson said: “I think when they hear without seeing, they have to make up visuals in their heads. That’s so good. They have to be engaged and get more out of it.”

There are plenty of quality audiobooks, podcasts and music for the young, she noted, but weeding through thousands of selections and jumping from platform to platform is a challenge since audio content has exploded over the last few years.

Dad blogger Balint Horvath in Zurich agreed after trying to make sense of kid options for his 14-month-old daughter.

“I couldn’t find any resource that would organize podcasts according to different criteria. Information without proper searchability is like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Horvath, who works as a productivity coach for research and development teams.

Audiobooks and music for kids have been around a while, but podcasts made for the 3-to-12 set are relatively new, driving more parents to choose one-stop platforms that include all formats.

Demand is ``primarily driven by parents who are podcast listeners or audiobook fans,’” said Frannie Ucciferri, associate managing editor for the nonprofit Common Sense Media.

With a huge bump in podcasts overall, the value of audio content for kids hasn’t been lost on companies large and small.

Spotify recently launched a new ad-free app, Spotify Kids, as a free extension for premium family subscribers. Not yet available in the U.S., it’s packed with singalongs, soundtracks and stories for children as young as 3. A platform called Pinna is among the latest to launch ad-free with a variety of content and ages in mind, at $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year. Others stick to podcasts alone, while Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited allows parents to customize a child’s experience to provide the most relevant books, videos, apps and more without ads, starting at $2.99 a month.

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Techlife News #431