Today, Amazon's digital distribution platform is getting a fresh coat of paint.
Whispercast is "self-service platform that allows schools and other organizations the ability to deliver digital content including books, textbooks and apps to Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and Kindle apps on other platforms," according to TechCrunch. The service was launched in 2012 and provides the ability for schools to send content to Kindles, but has since expanded to other devices.
Whispercast today includes access to over 3 million books, textbooks, newspapers and magazines, including 6,000 standards-aligned titles from National Geographic, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic, Lerner Publishing Group, Cherry Lake Publishing, Sleeping Bear Press and Penguin Random House. The system also provides access to Amazon's Appstore, which now includes over 400,000 apps. (TechCrunch)
Amazon is updating Whispercast to version 3.0 to make it easier for schools and their administrators to access digital content on their devices. The update includes "Digital Transition Services," which is a program aimed at K-12 schools, providing the opportunity for administrators in these grade levels to contact and work with an Amazon representative directly. Since this is a premium feature, TechCrunch speculates there could be a fee involved.
Amazon is also introducing a tier system for administration and "group management," likely making it easier to control content distribution in a more streamlined way. Administrators will also be able to make payments via purchase orders and with purchasing cards, in addition to the previous options which included credit cards and Amazon gift cards.
13o out of the 250 largest school districts in the U.S. are using Whispercast, along with 24 out of the 30 largest universities in the country.