Amazon today launched FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that offers movies, games, and books for the kids. The launch follows the recent software update to Kindle Fire, which introduced FreeTime, a profile system designed to restrict access to certain content.
Independent from its existing Amazon Prime subscription, FreeTime Unlimited adds to this safe environment by including an entire library of content from Disney, Nickelodeon, DC Comics, Marvel, HIT Entertainment, and others. And to build out its games collection, Amazon has worked with app developers to institute safety measures. Kids are presented with stripped-down versions of existing apps minus in-app purchase capability, Facebook or Twitter integration, and advertisements.
With the launch, Amazon introduces different ways for kids to browse the library. For example, kids can select a character, such as Elmo, Dora or Buzz Lightyear, then see everything related to each character. For existing Prime members, the service costs $2.99 a month per profile, or $6.99 for a family. Non-Prime subscribers will have to pay $4.99 per month per profile, or $9.99 for the entire family. Of course, you can choose to make all your kids use the same profile. It works on the first-generation Kindle Fire and the two new Kindle Fire HD models.
When asked whether it was hard to negotiate with Disney, Peter Larson, VP of Amazon Kindle, answered “it’s hard to negotiate with us as well.” It remains to be seen whether content partners provide a meaningful collection or just a sample of their productions. The latest Pixar movie won’t be included, for example. International support is another issue, as well.
With the launch of FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon adds another component to its content strategy. The company has said for months that it makes little to no profit with each Kindle sale. Instead, they want people to use their devices and buy content.
As I previously wrote, people buy an Amazon device because it is very easy to watch movies or read books if you are already using Amazon’s content platform. The FreeTime Unlimited subscription creates another use case for the Kindle Fire.