YouTube to Add More Original Content for Children with Nine New Shows
By Movieguide® Staff
YouTube will tap into a thriving market for family entertainment as it adds nine new original shows for children.
The Google-owned video-sharing mogul only created two animated television shows for children last year but hope to compete against streaming services’ rising popularity with new content.
Netflix recently announced their plan to pour funds into original, family-friendly content to challenge Disney+.
Co-CEO for Netflix, Reed Hastings, said that the streaming services champion wants to target family-friendly programming content to compete with and surpass their competition.
“We want to beat Disney in family animation,” Hastings said.
Hastings confessed that it might be some time before Netflix defeats Disney in this avenue: “That’s going to take a while. I mean, they are really good at it.”
YouTube already has 35 million weekly users on their YouTube Kids app, a number they hope to increase as parents and teachers search for educational and child-friendly entertainment on their ad-supported site.
One goal for the new content, according to YouTube executives, is to include a diverse cast of characters who reflect the company’s global appeal.
“When I was coming of age and growing up back in the ’70s and ’80s and watching TV, I personally didn’t see a lot of characters and people that look like me in the world that I lived in,” Malik Ducard, vice president of content partnerships, said. “The importance of diversity and really showing the beautiful range of characters and story and narrative and creators who are telling these really dynamic stories, we think is incredibly important.”
The LA Times reports:
The new programs are: “Super Sema,” an animated series about a female superhero; “BookTube Jr.,” featuring children’s book authors; “The Guava Juice Show,” an animated series with L.A. YouTube star Roi Fabito; next-generation journalists in “Kid Correspondent”; “The Workout Badges,” featuring kid-friendly exercise routines; preschool animated series “Millie and Lou,” “Lottie Dottie Mini” and “The Eggventurers;” and “Supa Strikas: Rookie Season,” a prequel to a YouTube show about a pan-African soccer team.
“Every show at some level fits this big idea of helping kids uncover and develop their unique strengths and passions,” Nadine Zylstra, head of family, learning and impact at YouTube Originals, said.
The new programs will appear on YouTube Originals, a branch of the company that oversees Youtube’s productions. Although Youtube had a paywall
According to LA Times, YouTube Originals became free with ads in October 2019, moving away from their previous paywall model.
YouTube has flourished amid the ongoing pandemic. Its focus on more family-friendly content is a welcome sight for parents whose children spend more and more time in front of a screen.
However, YouTube presents a greater conundrum for parents than other streaming services. Because of its ad-based videos, YouTube videos can expose children to grossly offensive content.
Movieguide® previously reported that YouTube, like many big tech companies, seeks to engage audiences through an algorithm. This can result in inappropriate content being recommended to your child:
According to Hootsuite, 70% of YouTube’s views come from the recommended videos that pop up as a result of their carefully curated algorithm.
Unfortunately, this algorithm has enabled “soft” pedophilia to enter into recommended videos. Mashable reports that in February, YouTube removed 400 channels that supported pedophilia as advertisers fled the platform.
Even so, the problem persists…
“It’s just increasing in society that when you have these social media outlets where these sexual predators, mainly men, are looking to connect with children,” Brown says. “Setting up profiles to seduce some kid on Facebook or some guy seducing a 14-year-old girl on Instagram. The opportunities are massif though. It’s tragic; it’s beyond tragic; it’s mind-boggling that this wasn’t the first thing that YouTube is going to police and deal with.”
YouTube may remove several channels and disable content, but the reality is that if they are not vigilant with these cases then the situation will never get better.
The problem lies within the algorithm. While YouTube isn’t directly supporting child pedophilia, they are supporting revenue. YouTube makes its money through more people watching their videos.
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