‘It’s Time’: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Facebook’s $250M Deal for Kids’ Academy
Updated May 23, 2019 06:55:49Amazon, Google and Facebook have teamed up to buy a small but growing online educational and entertainment platform called Kids Academy, a move that could give them unprecedented access to young people across the globe.
The deal comes as the tech industry grapples with the growing number of children’s videos being monetized and shared on YouTube and other platforms, with an eye toward helping educate kids about topics such as digital literacy and digital rights.
The three companies said they intend to launch the service as early as this year, and they aim to make the platform a $250 million business in 2020.
The new deal will make Kids Academy one of the largest digital content deals in history, according to Jefferies analyst Bill Oehler.
It also marks the latest in a string of deals that have put Amazon, Facebook and other tech giants at the center of education business.
While it remains to be seen whether or not the online learning service will become a revenue stream for the three companies, it could be a boon to young entrepreneurs, said Ben Kallenberg, an associate professor of business administration at the University of Colorado Boulder.
“The big difference between kids and adults, Kallenburg said, is they can’t be forced to use YouTube, which is an open platform and there’s a whole bunch of other ways for kids to interact with it.”
Amazon’s investment in Kids Academy comes as tech giants like Google and Amazon have been pushing their own online educational products that focus on kids and young adults.
The two companies have partnered with schools to offer programs ranging from learning to social media.
While the companies have not announced any specific plans for their new digital product, a spokesman said the deals were part of a larger effort to invest in educational technology.
“These companies are looking to use the tools of the digital age to deliver education to the masses,” a spokesman for Amazon said.
The company’s $25 million investment in K-12 education will help the company help teachers create lessons that are interactive, engaging and meaningful, said Scott Withers, senior vice president of curriculum and instructional development for Amazon, in an email.
“We are focused on building a platform for learning, where children can learn and learn and make their own decisions about how to engage with learning and create their own stories,” Wither’s email said.
“K-12 teachers will also be able to collaborate and collaborate with students, so they can learn how to better understand the learning process and how to deliver the content they need to build the best learning experiences for students.”
The company also announced plans to work with Google to build a curriculum that is tailored to the needs of kids, said John Kallinen, director of K-9 and child development at Google.
“This is an opportunity for Google to give children access to a more interactive learning experience, while also providing teachers with tools to help them build curriculum that supports the learning needs of the kids,” Kallinens email said, adding that Google is also partnering with Disney to create a curriculum for kids.
The companies also said they will create a partnership with the Children’s Book Council, an organization that promotes children’s literature, to launch a children’s book collection called My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
“As a global leader in education and entertainment, Google has long been committed to supporting our kids and we’re excited to collaborate with the Kids Academy community,” said Kevin Hirschfeld, president and CEO of the Childrens Book Council.
“By building a curated collection of high quality books, we hope to encourage young readers to explore and learn more about the world of the pony, and encourage them to share their own memories and stories about their favorite characters and stories.”
The deal is part of an ongoing push by the companies to build more interactive online educational tools.
The push began last year, when Google announced that it would make its YouTube Kids service a free service for children, with access to all of the content on YouTube, plus personalized ads.
Google also announced a new $2 billion initiative called EdBot, which aims to bring digital media to every home and school.
The goal of EdBot is to create “a personalized, connected, and connected family,” said Marc Randazza, Google’s director of education and research.
The program will launch this year.
Google has also announced that a new online course is coming to its Android and iOS mobile apps, aimed at teachers and learners.
“Our goal is to make learning as easy and fun as possible for all students,” said Mike O’Leary, Google Education’s senior vice-president of education.
“And that means bringing kids the latest content, the best apps, and the best tools.”
The move comes as other tech companies are moving to develop and monetize digital learning tools for their students.
Last week, Facebook announced that the social media giant will invest in a