L.A.-based Passport New Media is about to launch its first product-YOW, or Your Own World. The Learning Company and Time Magazine for Kids have signed on as content providers, and a technology partnership was inked with Marimba for the upcoming launch in January or February 2000.
‘Trying to protect kids on-line is almost a futile endeavor,’ says Brian Pass, Passport’s CEO. Instead, YOW brings the Internet to kids via a parent filter, with on-line information downloaded to CD-ROMs. Pass says it looks like a browser, but kids can’t actually get on-line with YOW. The product is geared to ages two to 12.
The Internet service will be free, with revenue generated through advertising within the service, and ads offered to third party content providers as well. Passport will take a percentage of that ad revenue. The cyberco will also introduce an e-commerce element to the service in Q2 2000. Pass is looking into licensing possibilities for the site mascot YOP (Your Own Penguin)-a virtual pet that will respond to kids based on how often they use the service. KB