Report – Behind the Screens at YouTube Kids

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 4:01pm

Before the session we heard from changemaker, 19 year old Zoë Daniel – a Guardian and Reuters Journalist who is also a freelance filmmaker and broadcaster. Zoë’s story of how she has built a career in the media was inspirational and shows how given the right opportunities, talent will shine. The challenge is how to encourage individuals of all backgrounds to be part of the media both in front and behind the camera. 


  • YouTube App now has over 70 billion views and 11 million active weekly users.
  • The App is in 37 countries and 8 languages.
  • Parental controls are increasingly granular and now offer the ability to select/block specific programmes.


Franceso Miceli pulled back the curtain on the YouTube Kids app, opening with the forecast that digital TV consumption is predicted to meet at 170 mins per day this year and for digital viewing to overtake TV in 2020. In this context, he revealed that the YouTube Kids app has now had over 70 billion views, is in 37 countries and 8 languages and has over 11 million active weekly users. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Francesco notes that over three quarters of users are inspired by YouTube kids to take part in real world activities such as singing and dancing, arts and crafts, etc.

The App differs from YouTube online in numerous ways, including significant (and increasing granular) parental controls, restricted advertising, less frequent advertising, as well as preventing kids from clicking on links that take them off the app.

The panel discussion then focused on how the app and YouTube can actually be used by these brands, to which several key messages came through.  For example, YouTube has now evolved through its engagement with the audience and promoting their brands, whether that is to sell toys, or perhaps (and albeit counterintuitively) drive kids back to watching traditional TV. All of the panellists agreed that views generated on YouTube were not a key objective and the data available on how their content was watched and when it was switched off was more important than gross viewing figures.

With the phenomenal growth of the YouTube App, there is no doubt of its importance in today’s media landscape. The censorship of content on the YouTube App is now being democratised with YouTube itself, allowing parents and trusted industry partners to be an integral part of the process. Marc Goodchild highlighted that as kids get older they want that metaphorical walled garden to be a little less restrictive and have the freedom to make more choices for themselves.


Written by Andrew Baker, Cantilever Group.

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