Amazon FreeTime gives young users unlimited access to thousands of kid-friendly content, ranging from books, videos, educational apps and games, all for a monthly plan that starts at $2.99.
FreeTime Unlimited hosts many titles from partners available on YouTube: Mattel, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids and Sesame Workshop. The service stands apart with its lack of unboxing videos, external social media links, comments and ads.
The trouble with many “kid-friendly” streaming platforms like YouTube Kids, or family-friendly filters, is the content is compiled by algorithms. For Amazon FreeTime, actual people are behind the decisions for what qualifies as kid-friendly content. “My team goes out and gets all the best stuff that there is. We look at ratings. We look at customer reviews. Everything in FreeTime is handpicked,” Amazon’s managing director for FreeTime, Kurt Beidler told Fast Company.
Parents have the option to set additional restrictions on the content their kids can see. They can also set rules, like requiring kids to read a specified amount before being able to access videos or games.
Kids users’ interests are tracked with the data used to create future recommendations and signal what kind of content should be added to the site. Beidler emphasized the data stays within FreeTime and isn’t used elsewhere, a practice that left YouTube in hot water recently when that platform’s parent company, Google, was fined by the FTC for misusing kids’ tracked data.
Amazon FreeTime is hardly Amazon’s only venture into kid-friendly tech. The recent Kindle Kids Edition comes equipped with a durable case and a two-year “worry-free guarantee.” The new Echo Dot Kids Edition is kid-friendly with parental controls, allowing youngsters to play music, hear stories and call a list of approved numbers.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited currently has four different plans available:
- Monthly Single Child Plan at $2.99 a month for Prime customers ($4.99 for non-prime)
- Monthly Family Plan for up to 4 children at $6.99 a month for Prime customers ($9.99 for non-prime)
- 3-Month Family Plan at $29.99
- 1-Year Family Plan at $41.40 for Prime customers ($59.40 for non-prime)