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YouTube Kids content now available in Korea

May 17,2017
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Children try YouTube Kids on Tuesday at Contents Korea Lab’s branch in Jongno District, central Seoul. Korea is the 27th country to launch the app. [YOUTUBE]
YouTube has launched an app dedicated to kids in Korea Tuesday as demand for useful and safer content for children rises.

The YouTube Kids app offers videos narrowed to content appropriate for children and also enables parents to partially control children’s video viewing experience, the video-streaming platform provider said.

“We created the YouTube Kids to improve the YouTube experience for kids and provide children a safer place to explore the best of YouTube,” Don Anderson, head of family & learning partnerships in Asia-Pacific, said at a press briefing in Jongno District, central Seoul.

To provide content unique to Korean children, the company formed a partnership with five local content providers including Iconix, developer of the popular cartoon series “Pororo the Little Penguin,” and Smart Study, creator of a cute fox character dubbed Pinkfong. The partner companies will offer exclusive contents on YouTube.

Line Friends, which launched YouTube channel Brown TV a month ago, has also joined the partnership and is planning to upload videos of 100 songs and 50 tales featuring its characters that are frequently used as emoticons on Naver’s Line chat-app.

Apart from providing more children friendly advertisements and content, the app also enables parents to set children’s screen time. The app can switch to sleep mode and alert children when a set viewing time is over.

The overall user interface is adjusted so children can more easily navigate through the app. The app comes with larger images and bold icons. It also recognizes voice for video search so children can more easily access the videos they want even if they do not know the exact spelling of the content.

Korea is the 27th country to receive the app since the service launched two years ago in the United States. However, it is the first among non-English speaking countries in the Asia-Pacific to adopt the service, according to Na Hae-bin, a technology manager at YouTube.

In the two years of operation, the kid-specialized app has had 30 billion views and now reaches more than 8 million active viewers weekly across the globe.

Interest in children-catered entertainment has also spurred the growth of many family or children creators on YouTube. Among locally produced content are video series from channels Lime Tube and My Lynn TV, which introduces interviews and games of interest to children. Lime Tube has more than 540,000 subscribers to its channel while My Lynn TV has 240,000.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]