Australian markets are well on the way to copying the US boom in sales of multi-subject educational software.
That was the observation of Tony Bordon, president of international operations for educational software publisher The Learning Company (TLC) during a recent visit to Australia.
Speaking to ARN, Bordon said the biggest growth market for edutainment software titles is the under-seven years old category and specific-ally in the multi-subject area. He is also of the opinion that it is the demand for educational tools by parents and a better gaming experience by 15Ð30 year-olds, that is driving the majority of consumer demand at present.
"Instead of offering a specific reading or maths product for a six-year-old child, we have been very successful with something that is a little bit broader in its content," said Bordon. "We have found that parents with young children are interested in identifying the skill levels at which they perform in various basic areas.
"Once they have identified areas where their children are a little behind, they are more interested in purchasing software to help them improve in specific areas. When we first introduced these multi-skill developing educational titles in the US, they immediately became top five sellers.
"We are sure that the same trend will be observed in Australia."
Bordon also claimed the real drivers of demand for computers at the consumer level are in gaming and education. People buy new, better computers when they find their old one won't run new software they want for themselves or their children, he said.
"Consumer hardware sales are currently being driven by the whole edutainment category," he said. "It is not only rapidly falling hardware prices pushing demand, but also the quality of the latest educational and entertainment software. Parents want to make sure they are giving their kids the best chance by getting them computer literate.
"The increasing penetration of computers into Australian households is very exciting for educational and entertainment software titles." Bordon also revealed that TLC has had great success with non-traditional edutainment distribution channels lately, and that the search is on for other areas where product can be sold.