The service, designed for kids 5 and under, is now available on Apple TV set-tops, Google Chromecast adapters, Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 game consoles and select models of smart TVs. Since YouTube Kids launched in February, the apps have been downloaded more than 8 million times, according to Google.
In another new feature, YouTube Kids now offers guest-curated playlists from celebrities and media partners. The service currently features recommended-video playlists from Geena Davis, National Geographic Kids and Kid President (the popular character played by Robby Novak). Other playlists are in the works from creators including VSauce and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls.
YouTube also touted a growing lineup of original shows and series for children from partners including BroadbandTV’s HooplaKidz, TuTiTu, SciShow Kids and DreamWorksTV.
In addition, based on feedback from parents, YouTube in the next few weeks will add new tools to explain how the service chooses and recommends content and how to flag videos as inappropriate. According to YouTube, videos available in the app are determined largely by algorithmic filtering, similar to YouTube more generally. YouTube Kids will also let parents disable the “search” function for more control over which videos their children watch.
YouTube Kids, aimed at driving up viewing in a safe and controlled environment, came under fire by consumer groups earlier this year, which complained it was serving ads in a way that was deceptive. YouTube says it screens all advertising for YouTube Kids and continues to work with child-advocacy groups on developing the service.