Children’s publisher Nosy Crow is closing its in-house app department and making three members of staff redundant.
Kate Wilson, founder and m.d. of the company, said its apps cost a lot to make and the market for them had not developed "in the way that we would have liked".
"It seems that many parents don’t choose to spend money on digital content for children and fewer children and their parents are reading on screen than we had hoped,” she said.
Ed Bryan, head of apps development (creative), Will Bryan, head of apps development (engineering) and Andrew James, senior technical artist, are being made redundant following the closure of the division.
Wilson said it had been a “privilege” to work with the three employees, who she described as “remarkable, brilliant and creative”.
She added: “Our print business is growing, with our UK sales out of bookshops (measured by Nielsen) up by 35% year-to-date, and with even stronger international sales and a great order book looking ahead. It makes sense for us to focus our resources on the resilient children’s print market and on the area of the business where we are enjoying such success.
“We have learned so much from making apps in-house. It has enabled us to better understand what print can do that the screen cannot, making us better print publishers in the process. It has also encouraged us into areas of digital innovation – such as our successful Stories Aloud initiative, offering free audio readings accessed via a QR code printed on the inside of paperback editions of all of our picture books – that we would not have had the expertise or enthusiasm for had we not been so engaged in making the apps.
"Despite the closure of the in-house department, we will continue with, and doubtless come up with more digital publishing and marketing ideas.”
The company has released a new app, Hansel and Gretel, and one final product, Flip-Flap Dinosaurs, based on Axel Scheffer’s book of the same name, will be released in May. The company’s previously released apps will continue to be available on the iOS App Store.