In a post on the company's official blog, YouTube yesterday announced that its paid subscription service -- dubbed YouTube Red -- will now encompass YouTube Kids, enabling "a whole new set of features for the family to enjoy" whenever parents sign up for Red. Available in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, the move comes about 15 months after YouTube Kids came under fire by some prominent child advocacy groups, who claimed the app was deceptively targeting its underage viewers with ads.

Stemming from restrictions placed on kids entertainment from the 1970's, the worry centered around a child's undeveloped ability to repel targeted advertisements, since most don't understand that they're being targeted in the first place. The groups asked Google to look much deeper into YouTube Kids because of such concerns, even going so far as to ask the company to remove all of its popular "unboxing videos" from the kid version of YouTube because, "They're an ad, in essence, for toys."

youtube kids with youtube red
YouTube is now hoping that bundling Kids into its $9.99 per month Red service will address some of these concerns. The biggest bullet point is that paying for Red brings ad-free videos to everywhere on YouTube, which will now include Kids for families under the Red umbrella, the company saying that this is a way to "let your kids learn and laugh along with their favorite characters without paid ads." Google also dropped a few other pros of its new Kids-friendly bundle, which essentially echo the benefits of YouTube Red's main service.

Parents who sign up for YouTube Red enable a whole new set of features for the family to enjoy, including:

Ad-free videos: Let your kids learn and laugh along with their favorite characters without paid ads.
Offline videos: In the car or on grandma’s couch—automatically have videos when you need ‘em, even if you don’t have a connection.
Uninterrupted music: Keep family sing-alongs going while you use other apps on your phone.

There might still be cause for concern for parents out there, however, since the only direct removal of advertising comes in the miniature ads sometimes placed before videos. In the original list of concerns and complaints from 2015, the FTC was asked to investigate specific aspects of YouTube's basic structure in its new Kids app, especially "branded channels," like one for McDonald's, which could potentially "take advantage of children because they do not understand that the entire channel is actually advertising."

YouTube has made no such move to moderate content like this in its app for children, and originally stated last year that it "consulted with numerous partners and child advocacy and privacy groups" when building YouTube Kids. In today's blog post, the company said that more updates to the Kids app are incoming, and hinted at more regulatory control for parents in the future: "we’ll be making some changes to the app that’ll give parents more choice on how to customize the content that appears or doesn’t appear in their YouTube Kids experience."

YouTube Kids is available for free on the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

swm Avatar
85 months ago
RedTube for kids?!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nickmcpherson97 Avatar
85 months ago
RedTube for kids?!
Lol. You'd think of all entities, Google would know not to call it RedTube. Erm. YouTube Red for cause of sharing similarities in name with another video streaming website...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
85 months ago
All 3 YouTube Red users were reportedly pleased with the news.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dguisinger Avatar
85 months ago
It irritates me to no end that if you use YouTube on an iPhone it ends playback when you switch apps, but if you are willing to pay for YouTube Red they will enable it. I refuse to pay them for a standard app-level convenience every other streaming app provides. Sometimes I just want to respond to a text message or email while continuing to listen to a video i'm watching. The other thing that drives me crazy with YouTube is the number of times I get a playback error screen mid-playback (much more now that I'm on an iOS beta), and if you tap to try again, a lot of times you get an ad before it continues where it left off. Monetizing on their failure to deliver...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0248294 Avatar
85 months ago
It irritates me to no end that if you use YouTube on an iPhone it ends playback when you switch apps, but if you are willing to pay for YouTube Red they will enable it. I refuse to pay them for a standard app-level convenience every other streaming app provides. Sometimes I just want to respond to a text message or email while continuing to listen to a video i'm watching. The other thing that drives me crazy with YouTube is the number of times I get a playback error screen mid-playback (much more now that I'm on an iOS beta), and if you tap to try again, a lot of times you get an ad before it continues where it left off. Monetizing on their failure to deliver...
They do this on Android too, really silly to put such a basic feature behind a paywall.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pat500000 Avatar
85 months ago
When a child, who has dyslexia, entered Redtube instead of youtube RED.
"Look mommy, I'm learning educational stuff....all that slimes on that person's face."

....

...
..
all kidding aside......i think this is some predatorial s***
I'm sure there are some people on this site that uses YTR....
but whatever....(lazy voice tone).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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