The website-based subscription service launched today as a digital library of children’s books and educational videos for two to nines.
Users can access the site with a 14-day free trial. They can then opt to pay subscription fees ranging from US$9.99 a month to US$49.99 a year that grant access to all the books and videos on the site.
Launched to bring the popular Reading Rainbow educational TV series to classrooms and a new generation of kids, Skybrary is based on the Reading Rainbow educational tablet app that debuted in 2012.
Currently, the digital library includes more than 500 books and 150 newly created and classic “video field trips” from Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton. An Android-specific version for tablets will be available in early summer and a classroom version will roll out this fall.
Skybrary was funded by last summer’s 35-day Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than US$6.4 million from 105,000 backers.
The award-winning Reading Rainbow TV series was created in 1983 to encourage reading. Ending in 2009, 155 episodes were produced, all hosted by actor/director and 12-time Emmy Award-winner Burton.
In 2011, Burton and his business partner Mark Wolfe formed children’s media company RRKidz. They hold the global rights to the Reading Rainbow brand through a partnership with series creator WNED/Buffalo.