Storia, Scholastic’s digital reading platform, is changing to a new streaming service which will not support e-books bought through the original Storia app.
Storia was launched in 2012 and was designed for individual operating systems to provide book downloads for children and adults.
Storia School Edition will soon be released as a streaming service available through subscription for pre-K through Grade 6, according to Publishers Weekly. Based on the size of the school, subscriptions will start at $2,000. Scholastic believes that this will be a more efficient service and will lower maintenance costs of converting titles to school, but will also improve flexibility and choice for its young readers. Storia will remain the same visually and, like the first app, will have about 2,000 titles.
Scholastic plans to launch a family edition of Storia in 2015. It will be sold through Scholastic book clubs and book fairs. The company is offering refunds to those who bought a Storia e-Book through Aug. 1, 2015. The Scholastic website lists the improvements in the new incarnation.
• The 2,000 titles can be accessed from any desktop or tablet device with an internet connection.
• It will help students achieve key learning outcomes in the Common Core for English Language Arts.
• Teachers will be able to search and filter the system in order to personalize a digital library for their classrooms.
• It will track reading activity for each student.
• Each title has integrated learning tools to build vocabulary and comprehension.
This change comes at a time when Scholastic’s revenue has taken a plunge. But then, says Mercy Pilington of website GoodReader, having a success like their Hunger Games trilogy does not come every year for a publishing company. Scholastic is making a good move, says Pilington, by funding this move in the education market and keeping it student-centric. Thaks to the new SVP of Strategic Marketing, Lee Peters, ideas are underway for increasing the brand and putting Scholastic back in the classroom.
Michael Kozlowski, also writing for GoodReader, says that his biggest concern is that the transition will be difficult for parents and students who have built a library on the old Storia app.
If they are not informed, they will be surprised that they cannot pull up a book they have downloaded previously and the confusion might lead them to other providers like Amazon or KOBO.
“Our customer service lines are fielding calls, facilitating refunds and assisting schools in transitioning from individual books purchased by teachers to streaming for an entire school. The advantage is easier access and that each ebook is accessible by more than one child at a time (rather than buying multiple copies) which is a huge plus for the classroom; teachers are also learning about the new student progress tracking features and they like them.”