Netanya, Israel-based content discovery platform Kidoz has joined forces with family entertainment company Driver Digital in New York to launch Tent, a 360-degree, full-service content and distribution solution for brands and agencies looking to reach kids specifically on mobile devices.
The partnership brings Driver’s expertise in creating high-quality digital content for brands on YouTube together with Kidoz’ COPPA-compliant mobile distribution network, which has grown from one million monthly active users to 50 million in the past year.
According to Driver VP of sales Derek Sentner, Kidoz will be the primary distribution channel for customized content created through Tent, but brands will be able to distribute the content on their own YouTube channels and websites as new IP owners.
“The deals will vary, but brands can expect to receive high-quality owned content, distribution at scale, and guaranteed audience and analytics in return for their investment,” says Sentner, whose company has worked with the likes of Disney, Mattel, McDonald’s and Kraft. “Mobile is a big opportunity for brands to tell their story to millions of kids in a creative, cost-effective, but engaging manner,” he adds. “As more brands invest in content creation, maybe initially thinking YouTube is the only place to distribute, we want them to know there are millions of kids they’ll miss if YouTube is their only focus.”
Kidoz initially launched as a closed platform with a built-in browser for kids on smartphones and tablets to discover content free of in-app purchases in a COPPA-compliant protected environment. To reach a broader audience, the platform opened to third-party brands and kids app developers in January 2016. The new Kidoz network now includes more than 1,500 top kids apps, including Rovio’s VOD service ToonsTV, that can use Kidoz’ proprietary content-recommendation tool to generate revenue without ads or in-app purchases. The Kidoz browser is also now pre-installed on devices by more than 40 CE manufacturers, including Kurio, Hisense and Acer.
For Kidoz CEO Gai Havkin, partnering with Driver on Tent will help evolve content beyond traditional ad formats. “With our technology, we can deliver formats that are beyond full screen interstitial-type ads and actually create mini brand experiences with instant play mechanisms,” Havkin says. “Instead of just showing a full-screen video, we can offer a complete video zone built from many videos that kids can browse through for deeper engagement with brands.”
When asked if Tent will look to attract young digital influencers and YouTube stars, Sentner says there may be opportunities. “Working with influencers is not a core consideration, but there is certainly value in having the right personality or talent depending on what the content is,” he says. “As we work with brands, we want to offer kids multiple pieces of content that can help tell a brand’s story. So if there is a place for an influencer to host a series, make a video or be a key component of the overall content strategy, we would certainly consider it on a case-by-case basis.”
Despite the rise of digital content consumption by kids and parents, Havkin says the company’s biggest competitor is still linear television. “Brands’ budgets are heavily weighted toward TV, but are moving slowly but surely towards digital. But the kids segment in digital is much further behind. We have to reassure brands about digital and show them what we can provide.”