Amazon launches Kindle content service for kids

NEW YORK — Amazon is launching a subscription service for children’s games, videos and books aimed at getting more kids to use its Kindle Fire tablet devices.

Amazon.com Inc. announced Wednesday that the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited service will be available in the next few weeks as part of an automatic software update.

Amazon said subscribers will have access to “thousands” of pieces of content, though the company did not give a specific number. Kids will be able to watch, play and read any of the content available to them as many times as they want. Parents can set time limits, however.

The service, aimed at kids aged 3 to 8, will cost $4.99 per month for one child. It’ll cost $2.99 per child for members of Amazon Prime, the company’s premium shipping service. Amazon Prime costs $79 per year for free shipping of merchandise purchased in the company’s online store.

Family plans for up to six kids will cost $9.99 per month and $6.99 for Prime members.

The Kindle already allows for parental controls through its FreeTime service. Parents can set up profiles for up to six children and add time limits to control how long kids can spend reading, watching videos or using the Kindle altogether. With the content subscription service, kids can browse age-appropriate videos, games and books and pick what they want to see. They won’t be shown ads and will be prevented from accessing the Web or social media. Kids also won’t be able to make payments within applications.

Amazon is launching the service as competition heats up in the tablet market among Apple, Barnes &Noble, Microsoft and Samsung. Amazon’s strategy is to offer the Kindle at a relatively low price and make money selling the content.

Offering a subscription service aimed at kids helps set the Kindle apart from its many competitors.

“We hope that our devices are really, really attractive for families,” said Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon’s Kindle business.

More in Herald Business Journal

Delta’s farewell tour for the Boeing 747 stops in Everett

It is the last domestic airline to retire the iconic plane. Boeing and Delta employees autographed it.

Sign of the future: Snohomish business aims to reshape industry

Manifest Signs owner thinks that smart signs is an unexplored and untapped part of his industry.

Boeing says Bombardier dumping puts 737 planes in jeopardy

“If you don’t level the playing field now, it will be too late.”

Snohomish County’s campaign to land the 797 takes off

Executive Dave Somers announced the formation of a task force to urge Boeing to build the plane here.

A decade after the recession, pain and fear linger

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Panel: Motorcycle industry in deep trouble and needs help

They have failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.

Costco rises as results display big-box retailer’s resiliency

Their model has worked in the face of heightened competition from online, brick-and-mortar peers.

Tax reform needs the public’s input on spending priorities

The GOP tax plan is a good idea, but the next step should give us a voice on how taxes are spent.

Under cloud of ethics probes, Airbus CEO Enders to step down

He leaves in 2019 after 14 years. Meanwhile, aircraft division CEO Fabrice Bregier leaves in February.

Most Read