Three years down, YouTube Kids unable to make an impact


MUMBAI: Generation Z has grown up with mobile phones and even smartphones in their hands. What TV was to the older generations, the phone was to these kids who grow up with YouTube. In 2015, YouTube Kids was launched promising filtered content and parental control but Indian viewers seem to have given it a pass.

?The app makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore,? YouTube Kids group product manager Shimrit Ben-Yair said in a blogpost when the app was first unveiled. In 2016, the app was officially launched in India. Parents can keep a timer restricting the usage as well as limiting the content kids can search with a ?turn off? option. There are four sections in the app offering different kinds of content- shows, music, learning, explore.

YouTube along with other OTT platforms targeting kids has become a ?digital babysitter?. Though, according to a recent survey, even in developed countries, big screens remain a favourite of kids, the trend of consuming content on portable screens is rising expediently. Turning away from linear TV content, kids are increasingly flocking towards digital content globally. In such a scenario, YouTube Kids definitely has a promising market but there are several factors stunting the growth, especially in India.

In India, YouTube has not aggressively started any campaign till now for its standalone app. While YouTube itself offers a wide range of kids? content, other OTT platforms such as Viacom18?s Voot have done extremely well in terms of views. It has popular shows such as The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Roll No. 21 and Chotta Bheem alongside Dora, Spongebob, Motu Patlu, Shiva and Pokemon.  Amazon and Netflix also have rich content?both commissioned and original.

In addition to that, YouTube itself is a competition to YouTube Kids with children having plenty of entertainment options. Sparky short form content channels like ChuChu TV, LittleBabyBum, ToyPudding TV, Marsha and the Bear, Ryan ToysReview have more than 13 million subscribers and are thriving. The numbers show how many kids flock to these channels. Whereas, YouTube Kids is restricted. It can be accessed only on mobile devices and smart TVs making it less accessible than the parent site.

?From collections of channels from trusted partners to enabling parents to select each video and channel themselves, we?re putting parents in the driver?s seat like never before,? YouTube Kids product director James Beser said after the recent announcement of introducing several ways for parents to limit what can be watched on the popular app after receiving huge criticism. After three long years, at least YouTube has acknowledged it needs better policing for the kids app.

While YouTube has marketed its kid-specific app as a safer place for children, it has to walk a long way to prove itself safer. With its main site being unbeatable in the competition, amidst outcries from child rights groups, the presence of several other players offering various range of kids? content, YouTube Kids is still not a primary option for kids.

One of the main reasons behind the launch of YouTube Kids was to make it a safer platform for parents, who didn?t want their children using the main site unsupervised. Since the launch of the app, advocacy groups listed several serious problems. Amidst cartoon animation, explicit sexual language was used, graphic adult discussions about family violence, pornography and child suicide were noticed, modelling of unsafe behaviours, even jokes about paedophilia and drug use were discovered. Along with that, through the commercials, there are enough potential risks for kids to watch inappropriate content.

Despite not tasting the kind of success YouTube is accustomed to, especially in India, YouTube Kids finds itself to be under promoted. Though more kids are hopping on board digitally, the lack of success of YouTube Kids is a glaring anomaly. YouTube has to ramp up the offering and make the app a safer place for kids, thereby giving usage a shot in the arm in a cluttered market.

Latest Reads


After the success of recent Telugu Originals such asNanna Koochi, Chitra Vichitram,ZEE5 now announces its next dose of Telugu entertainment –B.Tech.Featuring actors Abhay, Kaushik, Merajand Madhulatha,the show is directed by Upendra Verma and written by TharunBhascker of “Pellichupulu’ fame, the...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Airtel Digital TV & JOP Network partner to launch ‘Hollywood Masala’ - a collection of blockbuster Hollywood movies in Hindi

Airtel Digital TV, the DTH arm of Bharti Airtel and JOP Network Pvt Ltd, India’s leading content house, today joined hands to launch an innovative channel – Hollywood Masala, which offers a collection of premium Hollywood movies dubbed in Hindi.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Amazon Prime Video aims to keep evolving with customer taste

Amazon Prime Video is boosting its content play in the market. The OTT platform is all set to stream its fifth Indian original Mirzapur from 16 November. In a media roundtable, Amazon Prime Video India content director and head Vijay Subramaniam also added that it will scale up originals further in...

iWorld Over The Top Services
As ‘Dil Se Desi’ as you are:ZEE5 kicks off its international launch with a campaign that will touch a chord with the South Asian diaspora

The traditional Mehndi is replaced by a funky henna tattoo; Payals (anklets) are paired with stilettos, and rapreplaces classicalas the new embraces the old - in its own inimitable style.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Bollywood star Ayushmann talks about his struggle with social media in the early stage of his career on #MeriRealLife

Anupama Chopra is back with another interview on #MeriRealLife – this time with Vicky Donor’s famous and critically acclaimed actor Ayushamann Khurrana on her YouTube Channel Film Companion.

iWorld Social Media
ZEE5 introduces language specific packs

ZEE5 has announced special subscription packs for the Tamil and Telugu audience. Riding on the success of its language content, this latest addition will enable users to access premium Tamil and Telugu content at half the price.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Adarsh Nair appointed chief product officer of Bharti Airtel

According to an Economic Times report, Adarsh Nair has been appointed as Bharti Airtel’s new chief product officer (CPO).

iWorld Telecom
Amazon Prime Video celebrates Diwali with Supari Studios’ latest commercial

Taking a slightly different route from most Diwali commercials, Supari Studios integrates the magic of creative storytelling in its commercial for Amazon Prime Video.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Binny Bansal steps down as Flipkart group CEO

Flipkart group CEO Binny Bansal has stepped down following an investigation into alleged "serious personal misconduct”, although he has denied the allegation.

iWorld e-commerce

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories