YouTube launches a children’s app that hosts ads

YouTube’s launch of a new app aimed at children holds opportunities for brands to host ads on the platform.

YouTube has announced on its company blog, that the app has been created to make it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore.

The app features a bright layout with bolder icons for children to interact with. It also hosts “family-focused content” which the video site says includes narrowed down content appropriate for children, although it does not state a focused age group that they will be serving to.

“For years, families have come to YouTube, watching countless hours of videos on all kinds of topics. Now, parents can rest a little easier knowing that videos in the YouTube kids app are narrowed down and content [that is] appropriate for kids,” says the blog post.

It is not clear how the app will generate revenue for YouTube. The Wall Street Journal has suggested that there has been discussion about ads in the app.

** A spokesperson told Marketing Week that there will be ads on the new app. The spokesperson added that YouTube will only show ads that are approved as family-friendly by YouTube’s policy team. The ads will be pre-roll (skippable or non-skippable), and won’t include any click-throughs to websites or product purchase sites.

Serving ads to children will be tricky for YouTube. At the moment, the app will only be hosted in the US, and the Google-owned brand will have to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, overseen by the Federal Trade Commission. Rules set by the government bodies state that websites that cater to children must notify parents if they are to collect personal information.

The app is available on Google Play and on Android devices, but has not been launched for Apple products.

*** This article has been updated on 24 Feb at 3pm.