Hot on the heels of yesterday's news about Simon & Schuster comes a new report from HarperCollins.
HarperCollins expanded their support for the subscription ebook market earlier today with a new deal with Epic, a children’s subscription service. This deal makes HarperCollins Epic's 25th publishing partner, adding around 1,000 HC titles to the service and boosting Epic's catalog to more than 4,000 ebooks from a variety of publishers including S&S, Kids Can Press, Lerner Publishing Group, and Open Road Integrated Media.
Kids can read as many ebooks as they like for only $10 a month. The Epic service supports up to 4 profiles on each account, enabling a family to share. Alas, it is only available on the iPad at the moment, but that should change in the future.
Epic is focused more on reading skills and less on entertainment, and the ebooks in their catalog do not offer audio, animation, or the interactive effects which can often be found in children's ebooks. In addition to the curated library, the service offers a book recommendation engine, badges, gaming-like rewards, offline reading and time-spent reading data for parents.
Launched in January 2014, Epic is focused on the niche kids ebook market, where they have lots of competition. In addition to Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street, and other services, Epic is also competing against Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon's Kindle Fire focused service. FreeTime Unlimited costs $5 to $10 a month, and offers access to a catalog of “thousands of the most popular books, games, apps, and shows”.
But with 4,000 titles, Epic has a larger catalog than most of their competition, and that should make them more than capable of dominating the market.