Amazon boosts kids' reading app with Signature Stories

Amazon boosts kids' reading app with Signature Stories

Reading app Amazon Rapids has extended its offering with Signature Stories, a feature which introduces stories from its TV shows.

It will feature stories from programmes created by Amazon Studios such "Niko and the Sword of Light" and "Danger & Eggs". The enhanced app is aimed at children between five and 12 who can "read along with some of their favourite characters and celebrity voice talent” including Aidy Bryant ("Saturday Night Live") and Tom Kenny ("SpongeBob SquarePants"). The original stories are authored by the shows' writers and “give a glimpse into unique adventures that take place beyond the TV series storylines”.

An Amazon spokesperson said it had launched the Signature Stories section in its Rapids app – available on iOS, Android and Amazon Fire devices - in advance of Comic-Con International 2017 in San Diego to “help kids develop a love of reading”.

Amazon Rapids originally launched as a reading app in November 2016, with stories appearing as a series of chat bubbles on screen.  The stories "come to life" as readers tap to reveal each line of dialogue at their own pace with features including a "read along" fuction for full-cast audio and a built-in glossary. 

"We couldn't be more excited to kick off Signature Stories and are thrilled to be teaming up with great talent such as Aidy Bryant and Tom Kenny," said Michael Robinson, director of consumer products for Amazon Education. "We're always looking for ways to help kids develop a love of reading and we're looking forward to bringing on new brands, new characters, and new voices to Amazon Rapids over the coming months."

Parents can currently sign up to Signature Stories for an introductory monthly price of $2.99 for unlimited access to short stories and a free two-week trial is available.

Amazon also confirmed today that it is adding a series of adaptations from Agatha Christie Limited to its lineup of dramatic Amazon Original Series in the US. The adaptation of Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence began production earlier this month in the UK starring Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener and Ed Westwick. Amazon’s deal with Agatha Christie Limited continues its partnership with production company Mammoth Screen and was brokered by WME.