YouTube Kids is not completely free from advertisement
YouTube Kids is not completely free from advertisement. Image credit: OK Diario

YouTube Kids rolled out this Wednesday, a paid version of the service that handles criticism for the way the child-friendly version of YouTube manages advertisement since it stepped into the scene last year.

YouTube Kids will be a bundled in the YouTube Red subscription program, a paid membership that offers many Google Features, such as offline videos and music, background play, a Pandora-like music app and more without any ads. The Red service will soon begin to offer YouTube Original Service and Movies and their internally produced premium content from top YouTubers.

For subscribers, these features also work on YouTube’s main apps as well as in the standalone Music, Gaming, and Kids app. Although, for the time being, the Kids subscription will only work in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. The service cost $10 a month.

Some people accuse YouTube of using abusive advertisement techniques

For children, an app video browser is replacing the television, which  seems to be the case with YouTube Kids, which offers a friendly interface with areas like “Shows”, “Music”, Learning” and “Explore.”

The app even has web shows and content from entertainment brands like DreamWorks WV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom or National Geographic Kids.

However, content watchdogs sustain this new TV is often abusive with its advertisement techniques, happening in ways more subtle other than the paid ads – 30 or 60-second videos shown before the selected content.

Streaming services should abide by the same rules that apply to TV

Associations like Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Center for Digital Democracy assure that “the vast majority of the content available on YouTube Kids is not subject to any limits on advertising,” as they explain that the app’s content includes actual television commercials, company-produced promotional videos, host-selling, and paid product placements.

The groups note that children have no cognitive abilities to distinguish between programming and advertising. And, say, if a kid searches for, say, “funny cat” on the app, he might find a cat’s food commercial from a company’s channel on YouTube Kids.

“YouTube Kids contains paid ads in order to offer the app for free. Your child may also see videos with commercial content from YouTube creators that are not Paid Ads. For more information, please check out our Parental Guide,” reads the Google play store.

Watchdog groups want this kind of streaming services to abide by the same rules as conventional TV. A reasonable request when the small tactile screen is the new generation’s television and, if the app is connected to a big screen, it effectively becomes TV.

Source: Tech Crunch