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A Truly Disruptive Entertainment and Educational Digital Application for Primary School Aged Children

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - azoomee (A Truly Disruptive Entertainment and Educational Digital Application for Primary School Aged Children)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2016-11-30

Although the internet was designed for adults, over 87% of children aged between 4 and 8 years old use the internet for gaming, video series, education and entertainment. Over 70% of images have seen images unsuitable for their age (Source: UK Safer Internet Centre 2017).

Azoomee offers a safe, entertaining and educational digital experience for primary school aged children. In addition to providing videos, games, audiobooks and educational tools, it aims to prepare young children for the risks of the digital world and to influence their development, both on and offline. Azoomee was launched in the UK in April 2016 and is available in the App Store or Google Play Store. It is also sold by O2/Telefonica as part of a kids’ tablet bundle and in their digital store called Priority. Since its launch, Azoomee has won multiple awards in the UK including: Innovation of the Year (British Small Business Awards), Start Up Business of the Year (Chamber Business Awards) and Innovator of the Year (Women in IT Awards).

Before launching, Azoomee completed extensive research studies on its own and with two of the UK’s largest companies (Sainsburys and O2/Telefonica). This market research confirmed: product market need, parents’ willingness to pay; and confirmed our innovative solution to keeping children entertained, safe and educated online.

In the Feasibility Study we specifically approached parents to understand: their concerns about how their children use the internet; which aspects of Azoomee are most appealing; and their views on the right subscription fee. The Feasibility Study analyses data from an online survey of 300+ parents, combined with product user-testing and discussions with businesses that might support the European roll-out of Azoomee.
To undertake the research, we developed an online survey that would help us get the requisite data to launch outside the UK across the European Union. Once this was agreed in English, it was translated into three additional languages (German, French, Spanish) to optimise response rates. Alongside the data we used a third party provider to provide user testing at an individual basis to test specific functionality and ease of use. We also contracted with several experts who have been responsible for the development of world class applications in the pre-school market.

In summary, the feedback from the Feasibility Study was: parents are very concerned about what their children might see on the internet (85% respondents); there is a clear market need for Azoomee in the EU; and a service like this would attract subscribers (93% respondents).

Furthermore discussions with content providers and large corporates indicate that there is no comparable product available that combines entertainment, education and safety. Interestingly, whereas in the UK working with a large charity like the NSPCC is deemed valuable, there does not appear to be the same need to be backed by a large non-for-profit organisation. It is also worth noting that our leading educational programme - Search It Up - was nominated for a BAFTA while we were completing the research work. We are now in the process of seeking funding to assist the development of a follow-up series.
What the data confirmed is that there is a global market need for Azoomee. This isn't a problem that is specific to any individual country. What it also highlighted is that if children aren't assisted at a very young age, more issues will arise in secondary school. Lastly it confirmed that this is an immediate issue that must be tackled now and that Azoomee is very much the right product at the right time.