10 billion and counting

YouTube Kids is changing the way children engage

For Malik Ducard, global head of family and learning at YouTube, 2016 can be best summed up by one word: expansion. From debuting on the Hot50 list and sweeping the top spot, to exceeding a cumulative 10 billion views in 26 markets, the YouTube Kids app has been on the rise since its February 2015 launch.

“We know families and parents want experiences that are kid-friendly, and in a localized way,” says Ducard. “We have stepped it up and attracted creators who resonate with kids.” In fact, Ducard’s team works with creators directly to help them succeed on the AVOD platform. (An ad-free version is available through YouTube Red.)

What’s also growing are the number of enhancements made to the app itself. YouTube Kids recently bolstered its parental controls by introducing the ability for adults to remove channels and videos that don’t meet their standards. What’s not likely to be scrapped, though, are the throngs of literacy and holiday-themed videos that have launched in 2016 as part of YouTube Kids’ curated month-long promotions—one of which in June, dubbed #readlong, focused on kinetic typography.

Following recent launches in France and India, Ducard says the app’s potential is in the hands of content creators. “Real estate is about location, location, location. And what we do is about creative, creative, creative,” he says. “There’s strong content coming out every day, such as shows like Wonder Quest. We have an entire learning tab for educational content.” Despite having tens of millions of downloads, the number that stands out for Ducard happens to be the smallest. “We have a 4+ rating in the App Store…It has always been important for parents to be in the driver’s seat.”

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