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KidzByte launches India’s first app-based kids news channel

It has onboard five school students as news presenters

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MUMBAI: There is no dearth of education-related apps. Now, here comes one app which gives an opportunity to schoolchildren to become news anchors.

KidzByte TV, which has its tagline as 'By kids', enables children to read out news on varied topics.

KidzByte has now rolled out the new video section, besides reading and read-to-me categories. “The aim is to lure the school students between 8-17 years old to get a habit of reading and growing with the general knowledge-based news”, says the founder of the KidzByte MediaTech founder Chetan D’Souza.

D’Souza, a marketing professional, launched KidzByte, a news, knowledge, and fun mobile application, in 2018 along with Swagat Salunke. The application covers 17 different topics such as India and world, science and discovery, earth and environment, sports and games among others.

The application is already on Google play store with over 50,000 downloads and 4.2 stars rating. The platform has onboard five students from Mumbai schools between 9-16 age groups to be the news presenter of the channel. It also has at least 100 quality contributors, whose articles, paintings and poems get featured on the platform.

“KidzByte is the first Indian app that takes care of kids’ non-academic needs. It recently unveiled its new avatar and added multiple offerings to its core app to provide kids with a dynamic user experience,” says D’Souza.

The selection of these five news anchors was done by contest; the platform ran across premium schools in tier-one cities. The five news anchors are Vivaan Goel (11), Shaunak Kanavia (9), Dania Mascarenhas (9), Joanne Joseph (14) and Shawna Mascarenhas (15).

Through seed funding, the founders have successfully raised 2 crores in 2019 from the Goyal group of companies managing director Pranay Goyal. “The two major reasons I invested in this project: The initiative is unique as it doesn’t have much clutter and the belief in Chetan and his passion for the application as he has a lot of potential for getting things done to final results", says Goyal.

Goyal, commenting on the return of investment, says: “More than business, the moral responsibility is important, however, more and more viewers are being attracted to the platform. Moreover, the targets are being achieved before the timeline as model progress believe returns will come back earlier than what was projected by the KidzByte team.”

“There are only three stakeholders in the KidzByte. The founders being majority stakeholder, Goyal holds minority shareholder position in the company,” says D’Souza.

The platform has also roped in sponsors such as FMCG product Unibic Cookies, a stationery product BioQ  and the healthy biscuit product the Growing Giraffe among others. The KidzByte CEO says, “We are against showing the advertisement between the news pieces, however, there will be branded content and brand integration of the sponsors during the news broadcast.”

In terms of revenue, the platform will have a subscription-based model with a charge of Rs 1200/year with 8-10 articles and news broadcast being published on the platform. Moreover, to lure more kids and parents on the platform it has also kept a non-subscription module with four stories per day for kids.

The platform plans to market itself through word of mouth method by reaching to the kids and their parents who are already benefitted by this application. It also mulls to do the on-ground initiative to hold seminars in schools and institutions with parents and teachers to make them aware of the app.

On the future goal of the platform, D’Soua says, “Aim to turn the channel into an over-the-top OTT platform and to get it hosted on its server soon. We also wish to make kids aware of fake news concepts, teach them about online safety and cyberbullying, and eventually give them career guidance”.

“Our next immediate goal is to tap the 25,000 ICSE and CBSE schools located in Mumbai, which is a total of at least 3 crore students within the age group of 8-17 years. However, the larger goal is to reach every kid in the country irrespective of the background and school”, concludes the D’Souza.

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