Earlier this year, in January 2020, YouTube enforced new guidelines for kids-based content under the COPPA Act. The most important rule of the COPPA act was that all content was to be labeled as “Made For Kids” or not.
The goal with COPPA is to make sure that children will only watch age-appropriate content on YouTube. After a long history of inappropriate ads and content being exposed to children under the age of 13 on the platform, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) fined YouTube for $170 million for violating the COPPA Act. To learn more about the COPPA Act, click here.
What Is YouTube Kids?
YouTube Kids is an app for children under the age of 13. This means all the content on this app is made for kids. This app was developed to give kids the opportunity to explore YouTube without being subjected to inappropriate content and it gives parents and caregivers peace of mind when the children are watching videos on YouTube.
How Can I Ensure That My Videos Get On YouTube Kids?
To make the cut, YouTube says your content should be “positive and educational”. While that’s the general outline, there are still some concrete guidelines that you can follow, such as:
- Making age-appropriate videos for kids and their families.
- Avoiding controversial topics, like violence and content that’s sexual in nature.
- Posting original content that isn’t sensationalist or repetitive.
- Making sure that the minors on the screen feel comfortable and safe.
- Ensuring that popular or trendy content is family-friendly.
- Being a role model, meaning displaying behaviors families can be proud of.
While labeling your content as ‘Made For Kids’ will make it easier for YouTube to find your content and move it to the YouTube Kids app, it’s not the only thing that matters. YouTube also manually reviews all Made For Kids videos to make sure that the right videos make it to the app.
Can Creators Still Make Money On YouTube Kids?
Most definitely! Creators can use Adsense to make money from showing their videos on the YouTube Kids app. Since the app is completely free, YouTube uses ad revenue in order to sustain the platform and pay kid-focused creators.
However, compared to the main app, you might earn less from ad revenue. That’s because the sheer number of users on both apps isn’t comparable. While YouTube’s main app attracts 2 billion viewers every month, YouTube Kids attracts several million users per week.
There is one crucial thing you should keep in mind when it comes to YouTube kids – you can’t run targeted ads on your videos. Not having targeted ads can result in fewer views, clicks, and AdSense revenue. Also, as of now, only in-stream ads appear on the YouTube Kids app. This means viewers can’t see text ads, overlay ads, and banners on a video page.
There is, however, a disclaimer rolled before each ad, letting the kids know that they’re about to watch a commercial. Since the ads on YouTube Kids aren’t clickable, they won’t be taken off the platform onto a third-party website or service.
How Can I Make Money As A “Made-For-Kids” Creator?
1: Sell Kid-Friendly Merch
As a “Made-For-Kids” creator, you can increase your revenue with branded merchandise. Plenty of YouTubers are selling “merch” on the platform and off the platform, and the range of products is astounding. You can sell everything from keyrings to mugs, cups, and t-shirts.
As a “Made-For-Kids” channel, you won’t be eligible for the “Merch Shelf” monetization feature. However, you could sell your merch off the platform on e-commerce websites such as Teespring and Shopify.
Once you’ve created a wonderful Made-For-Kids online store, don’t forget to mention the fact that you have merch to sell. Make sure you do this at the end of your videos to keep your watch-times high. Furthermore – you’re selling to parents, more than you are selling for kids. Therefore, make sure to really show the value in your products and convince the parents that your merch really is worth buying. Just remember to add links to your merch in the description box for your video!
2: Brand Sponsorships
Kid-focused creators have a huge advantage over other creators: there are tons of made-for-kids brands that can sponsor your videos. From Pampers to Huggies – brands are always looking for fresh faces and content to be affiliated with. You don’t even need millions of subscribers to get a brand deal. The fact is that smaller channels attract influential brands every day.
You can use platforms like Grapevine to find brands to work with, or you can personally reach out to brands via e-mail and pitch your channel and content to them.
3: Join Additional Platforms That Pay Kid-Focused Creators
While it doesn’t pay as well as the regular platform does, YouTube Kids still has millions of users – so abandoning it altogether would be a huge mistake. You can, however, cross-post your content on platforms that only stream kid-friendly content such as “Ameba TV” and “Kidoodle.TV”.
You can also, of course, turn to Patreon.com in order to monetize your kid-friendly content. Another option is to upload your videos to Amazon Prime’s Video Direct. This platform helps studios, distributors and independent filmmakers reach an audience worldwide, and creating an account there is totally free.
Will Being On YouTube Kids Hurt My Channel’s Chances To Rank Highly On YouTube’s Search Engine?
You can still find Made For Kids content on YouTube’s main app if you want. Also, YouTube Kids has its own search engine embedded in the app, so you can rank there, as well. The principals are the same for both apps – use your keywords wisely, incorporate them into your meta tags, and create awesome, engaging videos. The rest will fall into place.