The company is manufacturing its ‘clever speakers’ in Sheffield, with a mission to make streaming devices more accessible for pre-school and primary school children. The service launches with a line-up of stories by a range of authors including Roald Dahl, Judith Kerr and Enid Blyton.
Yoto’s device has no screen or microphone, with users choosing music and stories by inserting coloured cards into a slot on the speaker. This is designed to limit screen time.
Drury is Yoto’s CEO and co-founder. He said: “Most streaming services are created by adults for adults, and it shows. They are essentially databases which you access via text queries, a song title or artist, for instance. This doesn’t work for children.
We have answered the real concerns parents have about technology for kids
“With Yoto we have drawn on Montessori principles to give children a satisfying, tactile experience. You put the card in the slot and it plays. And with no screen, no microphone and no camera, we think we have answered the real concerns parents have about technology for kids.”
Dury has dismissed comparisons with rival streaming platforms such as Spotify. “They have a 10 year head start on us and ultimately we have very different objectives. We are 100% focused on delivering a safe and educational world of stories, learning and play which allows children to be children,” he said.
Yoto’s devices come with with a pack of 14 cards, 11 with curated content and three “blanks” which parents can fill with their own recordings of stories or music.
The initial slate includes….
Enid Blyton's The Enchanted Wood - read by Kate Winslet
Mog and the Baby by Judith Kerr
My First Classical Music Album - 25 classical music favourites
Nursery Rhymes - 15 traditional songs
Mrs H Sings - Sing-along songs for kids from
The cat That Walked By Himself by Rudyard Kipling
My First 100 Words in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian - a fun intro to different languages
Yoto Kids Radio - 24/7 radio for kids
Story Shed podcast - Primary School teacher Jake Harris creates this regularly updated podcast
Animal Sounds - fun animal sounds to have fun with
Crackling Fire - turn your Yoto into a crackling open fire with evocative sounds and animated lighting
Make Your Own - three blank cards that can be linked to any content
A starter pack containing the player and 14 cards is available for a launch price of £99 (RRP £129).