As YouTube continues to navigate through waters tainted by inappropriate videos—and with the help of 10,000 content moderators, no less—UK digital platform SuperAwesome has also been taking the matter of kids’ online safety into its own hands.
SuperAwesome—which reaches more than 300 million kids per month across mobile, web and online video using tech that ensures COPPA-compliant advertising for brands like Cartoon Network, Hasbro and LEGO—has launched a new SafeFam certification program designed to educate, train and protect content creators (and in many cases their parents) who are making, consuming and spending mass amounts of money attracting YouTube’s youngest of users.
According to SuperAwesome CEO Dylan Collins, roughly US$12 billion is spent by brands on YouTube, with a large portion of influencers holding audiences comprised of kids under the age of 13. The company’s SafeFam certification will train, assess and provide ongoing guidance to creators and brands for free.
For example, SuperAwesome will review a creator’s online material to ensure it is appropriate and follows employment laws. And SuperAwesome will provide YouTubers with tips on best practices, plus SafeFam Support for any additional questions.
“Google is running YouTube fundamentally as a 13+ platform,” says SuperAwesome CEO Dylan Collins. “And as the CEO of a company that is focused entirely on the under-13 audience, I think there are things that we can do to help those creators and brands that YouTube simply cannot openly provide. Creators have been coming to us and saying they wanted more standards on how to make safer content for kids, and parents want to know how to coach and direct their kids online. SafeFam started snowballing in early January, so we’ve now decided to go ahead and officially launch it.”
So far, more than 20 YouTube creators are on board the SafeFam program, including El mundo de Grace, Super Sienna, Fizz Sisters. Daniela Golubeva, Mia’s Life, Millie and Chloe, Annie & Hope, The Daya Daily, Super Hero Kids and Grace’s World.
SafeFam also educates parents of young YouTube stars (who are under the age of 16) on best practices, which include not filming for more than three hours at a time or late into the night.
“As we’re reaching out to the YouTubers—or in many cases they are being referred to us by their friends—we’ve seen a huge amount of parents coming to us, too,” says Collins. “Parents of YouTubers are struggling to find standards on what they should or shouldn’t be doing.”
While the SafeFam program is aimed at content creators and their parents, brands will also stand to benefit from a more streamlined YouTube ecosystem, Collins contends.
“Since brands are the ones who are effectively funding this content, we are creating a new set of standards that will prevent marketing money from going towards inappropriate material,” Collins says, adding that SuperAwesome will expect a SafeFam certification from any YouTuber the company works with going forward. And he thinks other brands will feel the same way in the future.
“From our perspective, it’s an investment into YouTube’s overall structure,” says Collins. “If you look at all of the brands in the kids industry, they’re shifting their dollars to digital…but they really need more help and guidance along the way.”
Last May, SuperAwesome launched Awesome Content Targeting (ACT), a cross-platform tool that gives kids app developers a safe way to monetize content. ACT also guarantees that ads are never attached to inappropriate material.