YouTube Kids Panel: Five Takeaways

On Wednesday July 29, 2020 the Children’s Media Association hosted their first ever YouTube Kids Panel, taking a closer look at various content creators and what goes into a making high quality kids’ content on YouTube.

Our moderator— award winning writer, director, and producer Kristen McGregor, spoke with Lauren Glaubach (head of YouTube’s Family Content Partnerships and Programming Team), Meredith Halpern-Ranzer (Co-Founder and Chief Executive Tinkerer at Tinkercast), and Lucas Field and Emeen Zarookian (Co-Creators of Koala and Giraffe’s Mini Musicals) about their experiences creating content online for kids.

Here are our top 5 takeaways:

  1. YouTube kids is a very versatile platform to get your content out for free:

-Anyone can be a content provider on YouTube. You need to find your niche and think about a global audience. Lauren explained that YouTube Kids puts content into 3 age categories: preschool, younger, or older. It’s helpful to really think about the age group you are targeting and what its particular voice is.

2. YouTube Kids was given a 100 million dollar fund to invest in great high quality kids content.

-This content reaches specific learning frameworks to ensure they are developmentally appropriate for each age group and reaching certain learning goals. Some funded programs include:

  • Fruit Ninja Frenzy Force- A group of kid ninjas who own a juice stand work together with their unique talents to save the day from evil villains.
  • Sherwood- A rebellious orphan discovers she has a much bigger destiny that she imagined- It is her job to save a completely flooded 23rd century London.
  • Hyper Linked- scripted content targeted to pre teens that follows a group of girls who create their own website.  

3. You can make money on YouTube Kids via advertisements, however you need to be a member of the YouTube Partnership Program.

-To apply for membership your channel needs to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours. Your videos then go through a rigorous review process. There are many guidelines to both the content creators and the ad teams to ensure kids are watching safe content that is not too mature.

4. Both Tinkercast and Koala & Giraffe do not make money directly from ads. They do however use YouTube Kids as a means to make money in different ways.

-Koala and Giraffe use their content as a portfolio to show production companies the amazing content they create. This has proven to be successful as they are now developing a Giraffe and Koala series!

-Tinkercast uses YouTube as a marketing tool. Their new kids’ game show is filmed in real time with kids around the world joining from their homes. They record the live shows and put them up on their YouTube platform. The more kids who see their game show content, the more want to sign up for a membership for Tinkercast so they can join in on the fun!

5. Lauren, Meredith, Emeen, and Lucas all agree that if you are creating content for YouTube kids you need believe in it and get true joy out of what you do.

-Lucas and Emeen mentioned that if you are always worried about making money you will never find true happiness in your work. You need to have the gusto to put out content you believe in and follow through on it. You won’t make money right away—it takes time, hard work, and passion to create content kids and parents keep coming back to.