When YouTube Kids launched in 2015, media buyers were intrigued by the opportunity to advertise to kids in a safe environment. Four years later, even with the scandal of violent Elsa, advertisers within the kids’ demo are still putting ad dollars behind YouTube Kids.
A brand exec who buys ads on YouTube Kids said the platform allows kid-focused clients to reach the right audience safely online since children can’t be on social networks. YouTube Kids is not bucketed in the social budgets since it doesn’t have a community or comments, the executive said.
“Advertising on YouTube comes with trade-offs, scale versus kids. Kids and social don’t really mix. Kids are either not on social platforms or they’re not supposed to be on social platforms,” the executive said.
Indeed, kids love YouTube. But they aren’t supposed to be there. As one media executive said, “On [regular] YouTube, if you’re under 13, you don’t exist. You probably don’t have your own account. You’re watching on your parents’. But the amount of kids’ usage of main YouTube is vastly, dramatically under-reported.”
YouTube Kids was YouTube’s way of serving that audience while obeying the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). YouTube Kids was YouTube’s attempt to build a platform designed for children as opposed to assuming that all users were over 13, said Dylan Collins, CEO of SuperAwesome, a company that focused on kid-safe tools and technology.