×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Kids’ App Set to Debut in Bid to Provide ‘Family Friendly’ Destination

Partners include Jim Henson Co., DreamWorks Animation, Hit Entertainment and 'Reading Rainbow'

YouTube has built a playground for children — promising a clean, well-lit environment that excludes any of the weird and uncensored stuff on the regular site.

The free YouTube Kids app, launching Feb. 23, is slated to include videos from Jim Henson Co., Mother Goose Club, DreamWorks Animation, National Geographic Kids, Hit Entertainment and others with shows including “Sesame Street,” “Fraggle Rock,” “Thomas the Tank Engine,” “Reading Rainbow” and “Talking Tom and Friends.”

Initially, the app will be available in the U.S. for Android devices via the Google Play store — for now, it’s not available on Apple’s iOS platform. The app will carry a limited number of prescreened ads; those will be pre-roll units and won’t include any click-throughs to websites or product purchasing offers.

The YouTube Kids app provides parental controls, including a timer for watch time and the ability to toggle sound and search on or off. Channels and playlists are organized into four categories: Shows, Music, Learning and Explore.

“The Jim Henson Company has been a long-time partner with YouTube, and it is a natural next step to continue our collaboration with the launch of the YouTube Kids app,” Richard Goldsmith, executive VP of global distribution and international consumer products, said in a statement. “The app is extremely kid-friendly and features a variety of content, including several of our series such as ‘Sid the Science Kid,’ ‘Pajanimals’ and ‘Fraggle Rock,’ and we are delighted that kids will now be able to engage with them in this safe and fun environment.”

LeVar Burton, host of “Reading Rainbow,” said YouTube Kids is a welcome development in a media landscape of children that is often “filled with empty calories.” He’s created an exclusive original series for the app, “uTech,” about technology for the younger generation.

“I’m excited that YouTube Kids is making this commitment to give families a safe environment to spark curiosity while still entertaining,” Burton said.

In addition to the launch partners, YouTube said it expects to add kid-appropriate content from popular YouTube creators like the Vlogbrothers and Stampylonghead. “We’re so excited to finally be making educational and science content specifically for kids, especially since YouTube has put so much thought and effort into making a spectacular platform for it,” said Vlogbrothers’ Hank Green, who also is executive producer of “SciShow Kids” and “Crash Course Kids.”

According to YouTube, it worked with several kids’ and family advocacy groups to test out the app, and has received support from Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely.org, the Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) and WiredSafety.org.

More Digital

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Release of Docs to Reveal How Facebook Made Money Off Children

    Documents related to a 2012 lawsuit against Facebook in which children, sometimes unwittingly, spent their parents’ money on games via the social site will be unsealed, according to a Monday ruling from the United States District Court. The court gave Facebook ten days to file unredacted documents in accordance with the ruling. The 2012 lawsuit [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Sets Up New Product Group for AR Glasses (Report)

    Facebook has restructured its augmented and virtual reality research division and set up a new group tasked with building augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to a new Business Insider report. Facebook acknowledged the move in a statement given to the publication, saying that the move affected “a few hundred people.” The group has already built [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content