YouTube Kids, a specialized video destination launched by the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)-owned online video provider in 2015, has been a big target for brand advertisers hoping to catch the eye of young viewers -- ads that some advocacy groups say aren't always appropriate. Now Kidfluencer, a new service by ad company Super Awesome, plans to improve the experience across YouTube for both young viewers and advertisers.
Kidfluencer is a YouTube network that has partnered with several family- and kid-friendly channels like TaDa Kids and Family Gamer TV. Advertisers can access these creators through the network to get their products featured -- not on pre-roll ads, but through actual mentions or presentations of a product by the channels themselves.
The network will post a "Safe Ad" logo in the corner of the video player whenever approved products are mentioned or featured during a show.
Dylan Collins, chief executive of UK-based SuperAwesome, said in a Wall Street Journal article that the company "manually vets" each YouTube channel that signs on to its Kidfluencer network.
The direct payment approach to advertising through Kidfluencer helps solve some of the concerns around advertising to children on the mainstream YouTube service, Collins said, such as data collection (restricted by the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act). It also gives creators of kids' programming another opportunity to monetize their videos.
"(W)e're trying to find the best creators and the right brands, and make sure that brands engage with kids properly," Collins told WSJ.
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Updated on March 3 to clarify Kidfluencer's focus across YouTube, not just YouTube Kids.