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YouTube Kids goes ad-free on Red sub service

The children's app is now being made available for ad-free and offline viewing for subscribers to YouTube's new SVOD, Red.
August 4, 2016

YouTube is announcing another partnership… with itself.

The streaming giant has paired its recently launched Red subscription service with its popular YouTube Kids app, which attracted more than 10 billion views a year after its launch. A YouTube Red membership will give parents the ability to sign into the app and create an ad-free space for their children.

The option is now available to families in the US, New Zealand and Australia.

People who sign into YouTube Kids with their Red memberships will also be able to watch videos offline, as well as stream music uninterrupted.

YouTube Red, which launched late last year, has been a bit of a mystery in terms of metrics. The closest the brand has come to revealing subscriber numbers was at VidCon earlier this year, where Susanne Daniels, VP of originals said some originals on the SVOD “rivaled” traditional cable shows, and that most views came from mobile.

SVODs for children have become a hot-zone in the world of streaming. The reasoning is straight forward—digitally connected children often see no differences between traditional TV and new ways of consuming content.

“YouTube is often kids’ first stop for streaming video,” Melanie Shreffler, trends and insights guru at Smarty Pants market research firm, previously wrote. “Kids have come to trust that they’ll always find something fun and interesting—not only does it have cool and silly videos featuring kids just like them, it also has clips and episodes of their favorite shows and music videos from their favorite artists. The site holds endless possibilities because there is always something new to discover and explore.”

What’s more, the lengthy history of the platform has taken some of the mystique and fear away from younger moms, who are letting their children online more than ever, she wrote.

“I don’t think [YouTube Kids] will affect something as big as Netflix, whose content portfolio leads by a margin,” said Tony Wible, a senior media and entertainment analyst at Philadelphia-based Janney Capital Markets, who specializes in TV and social media, in a previous interview. “It’s important for parents to not have advertising, which YouTube and Google can’t live without, and unless YouTube is willing to give stuff away for free, then they will have advertising to subsidize content costs.”

While ads on the Kids app were specifically designed to be child-friendly (and safe), the ad-free option further addresses this concern.

The new Red membership is a smart move for YouTube Kids as well, considering families are more likely to subscribe to one or more SVODs, compared to their childless counterparts: while 40% of households are likely to subscribe to at least one SVOD, 78% of families with children do, and 13% of those subscribe to a mobile-first offering, according to a 2015 study from market research firm PlayScience.

YouTube could not comment on whether or not it will cut different rights deals for YouTube Kids content viewed ad-free or offline through YouTube Red. However, it’s expected that new revenue from YouTube Red subscription fees will be distributed to YouTube Kids creators (based on how much of their content members watch) and revenue from the subscription service will grow as it continues its global roll out.

(YouTube Red series Talking Tom pictured.)

From Stream with files from Jeremy Dickson.

 

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