YouTube is making its first investments into children’s programming: The video giant has greenlit four series from top creators on the platform that will launch this spring and summer, available to subscribers of YouTube Red.
The shows are: “Hyperlinked,” a series starring the five members of tween music group L2M as they come together to create their own website by girls for girls; “DanTDM Creates a Big Scene,” starring British YouTuber Daniel Middleton along with animated friends who overcome challenges in staging a live show on the road; “The Kings of Atlantis,” an animated series following two young monarchs as they seek to overthrow the brutal usurper of their kingdom; and “Fruit Ninja: Frenzy Force,” in which the team of four Fruit Ninjas join forces to fight the evil Durian Grey and the Deep Fried Sensei.
“Our investment in these YouTube Red Originals is an exciting step that allows us to continue to provide the most robust roster of programming that is fun for the whole family, especially for kids using the YouTube Kids app,” said Nadine Zylstra, head of family entertainment and learning for YouTube Originals, who previously was with Sesame Workshop. The YouTube originals team is headed by global head of original content Susanne Daniels.
The new batch of kids’ originals from YouTube dovetails with the two-year-old YouTube Kids app — designed to provide a curated, family-safe set of content and features. According to the Google-owned video service, since launching in 2015, the YouTube Kids apps have garnered more than 30 billion views to date and has over 8 million active weekly viewers. Also Monday, YouTube said that YouTube Kids will soon be available for download on a number of internet-connected LG and Samsung smart TV models.
Last summer, YouTube extended the Red subscription service to YouTube Kids, to let subscribers watch videos without any ads and download them for offline viewing. Watchdog groups had previously complained about deceptive ads being placed in the YouTube Kids app.
YouTube Red, priced at $9.99 per month in the U.S., is currently available in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Korea.