YouTube Kids, the app offering a curated selection of age-appropriate videos sourced from YouTube, is launching its own original programming, the company announced today. The four new shows are a part of the YouTube Red subscription service, and were created with the kids’ app in mind. This is also the first time that YouTube Red has invested in creators who are making original shows designed for family audiences, says YouTube.
The series come from established creators, including DanTDM , Joe and Cody of TheAtlanticCraft, tween music act L2M, and Fruit Ninja. The shows will launch this spring on the service, while others are in development for premieres throughout the year.
Now two years old, YouTube Kids aims to offer a safer alternative to YouTube’s larger video network. Until its arrival, many parents were hesitant to allow their children to use YouTube, or were constantly struggling with their kids happening upon inappropriate or adult content on the site.
While far from perfect, YouTube Kids has become a better starting point for parents looking to control kids’ YouTube experience, thanks to the app’s kid-friendly user interface, curated selection of programming, and parental controls that let you do things like disable the search function.
YouTube Red’s subscription service expanded to include YouTube Kids last August, offering an ad-free experience on the kids app along with all of Red’s other key features, like offline access and background play, for example.
YouTube says that its kids app has seen over 30 billion views to date and now has over 8 million weekly active viewers. The app had originally focused more on videos that appealed to younger children, like singalongs and Sesame Street, but today also includes those that extend up the age spectrum, like science videos, magic tricks, and more.
With the launch of the new original programming, it seems that YouTube Kids will continue its expansion beyond the preschool crowd and up into the tweens.The slate of programming isn’t all cartoons, nor toddler-focused fare. One show called “Hyperlinked,” for example, stars music act L2M and tells a story of five girls who come together to create their own website for girls.
The other programs include “Fruit Ninja: Frenzy Force,” “The Kings of Atlantis,” and “DanTDM Creates a Big Scene.”
Alongside the news of the new series, YouTube Kids will also soon arrive on smart TVs, including LG and Samsung TVs, says YouTube.