App developer and publisher Touchpress is rebranding as "Amphio" as part of a new strategy refocusing its business on culture, tech and video.
The company has sold its portfolio of science and literature apps to a new, venture-captial backed publisher in the educational content market, Touch Press Inc., to concentrate on digital tools and services for cultural organisations to grow audience engagement, with an emphasis on video.
Touch Press Inc is the result of a collaboration between Irish digital publisher StoryToys and educational games specialist Amplify Games, which teamed up to become Touch Press Inc following a $1m investment earlier this year through Amplify Education Partners. According to the Irish Times, the investment is linked to Laurene Powell Jobs, the wife of late Apple founder Steve Jobs, and will see StoryToys' Dublin team expand “fairly significantly” over the next year to 18 months. StoryToys has a three-year deal to develop a series of apps based on Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
StoryToys chief executive Barry O’Neill, who is leading the Touch Press Inc venture, called the acquisition of the Touchpress portfolio "a great fit for us”.
Amphio will retain a portfolio of apps including The Orchestra, Juilliard Open Studios and Henle Library. Its aim, it says, is to "forward the role of culture tech through collaboration and innovation with our partners and the wider industry". It is already working with partners to build cloud infrastructures for frictionless content creation, archiving, curation, augmentation and delivery.
Touchpress last year announced it would be selling off “ about half” of its education and literary apps as it moved away from the paid-for app model and looked to brand sponsorship for its future. Its strategy at the time was to focus on music, with free apps designed principally for Apple TV.
Louise Rice, c.e.o. of Amphio, said: "This is an exciting day for our team. As Amphio, we intend to take the insights and technologies we’ve gained from building apps onto new platforms in order to help our partners engage with their audiences. Our expertise in creating enhanced video tools will be a key factor in driving this development forward.
"We are also delighted to transfer the Touchpress brand and our science and literature apps to Touch Press Inc. We see huge potential in that venture, and believe they are the ideal partner to further build on our success and bring new life to apps such as The Elements, The Waste Land and Shakespeare’s Sonnets."