Hugh Fraser from the Angel Blog is launching a series of iPod-friendly children stories. Titled “Storynory”, they feature classic children tales such as “The snow queen” or “The Frog” as well as some modern stories. All narrated by an English actress and ready to download for free.
It is a wonderful idea. Advertisers should get in early with some "embedded and non-intrusive" audio messages as I am sure they will prove popular.
See the storynory website
Not sure this is a product I'd get for my kids. How does it benefit them compared to say actually reading a book? (or their parent spending quality time reading to them?)
Most of the situations in which audio-books are convenient for adults don't apply here, or is this also an adult-convenience product?!
Recent research has shown that while reading to children helps them build vocabulary, it doesn't assist them to improve their own reading skills.
I see that more like an "in addition to" reading rather than "instead of" reading. I have no children yet so I am won't pretend to be an expert in child education, but if I had a kid, who had an iPod to listen to music (like all his/her friends), I will be tempted to introduce him/her to these stories via these audio files.
I think this is interesting, but I'm concerned about the recommendation for advertisers to "get in early".
Given that some of the biggest consumer companies have announced a move away from advertising to kids (e.g. McDonalds), I'm not sure how well "embedded and non-instrusive" messages would go down with parents.
It is about content and context really. McDonalds is facing pressure not to target kids because some of their products are related to a specific issue: obesity. That does not mean that all companies will stop advertising to children. On top of that, we should make the disctinction between advertising (the 30sec commercial type) and providing useful branded content, for which podcasts are well suited. Often this type of campaign will target parents (the gatekeepers) for them to communicate to their kids. Think of a "why you should brush your teeth" campaign, sponsored by a toothpaste manufacturer.
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