PBS Kids logoIt’s sad to see that the PBS Kids site for young children, which has been reliably free up to now, is launching a subscription site, PBS Kids Play (pbskidsplay.org). Check out this story in New York Times’ Personal Tech section. The focus of the pay site seems to be adding more games targeted at young children whose families will pay $10/month or $79/year, and the new site includes streaming video of PBS programs for preschoolers and elementary-aged students.

The brief story is short on details. When will the site launch? How will it affect the current PBS Kids site, to which many, many libraries’ Web sites link? I guess we’ll just need to wait and see, but as the story says:

Subscription-only access to children’s content is now common with services like those from Disney (www.preschooltime.com) and Nick Jr. (www.mynoggin.com), but Kids Play signals a new path for a nonprofit like PBS, said Benjamin Grimley, the senior director for PBS Interactive Businesses. Mr. Grimley said he hoped subscriptions would pay for over 40 ad-free games by year’s end.

I wasn’t aware that, up to now, the Public Broadcasting System had felt the need to even consider running any ads.

(For more on the commercial $$$ kids’ sites, look here.) All we can hope is that PBS leaves its current site up and doesn’t remove too much of the fun stuff there that’s accessible to all kids, of all family incomes.