The Walt Disney Company (DIS) pushed into the digital book market today, hoping to corner the first generation of digital book-savvy kids with a new distribution model: selling $79.95 annual subscriptions to readers, providing online access to 500 Disney storybook titles in digital form.
According to the NY Times, the project will target children aged three to twelve. Onscreen, the digital pages turn like pages in a print book. The site will provide online pronunciation advice, quizzes, games, and a number of the books will have actors read the story out-loud, complete with music.
Digital publishing expert Mike Cane had these thoughts about the new release: “What I love about this is that Disney is emphasizing these are digital books–not eBooks. They’ve positioned themselves for the future, not settling for the inferior offerings of today. A questioner asked what number of subscribers they would consider a success. Disney’s not thinking that way. This is a long-term investment for them.”