The World of Video Content for Children: SchoolTube and Beyond

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In the last few years, how often has this happened to you? You’re at a restaurant or a doctor’s office and a parent walks in with a young child. While they’re waiting to be seated, or see the doctor, the parent gives the child an iPad or a Galaxy smartphone, pulls up video from somewhere on the Internet, and lets their child watch that video while they wait. You should take this as proof that video content for children is big business.

For the most part, however, the Internet is not designed with children in mind. Even though the majority of websites censor out most adult content, some is bound to slip through. In particular, video sharing networks frequently feature swearing, sex, violence, and other topics that parents would rather their children not be exposed to. This is why many parents are wary of letting their children use popular video networks like YouTube and Vimeo. This is also why those video networks are banned in many schools. This means that video content targeted towards children needs to find other places to live in the digital world, whether you’re talking about advertisements or educational programming. Enter SchoolTube.

If you’ve never heard of it, “SchoolTube.com is the nation’s largest K-12 moderated video sharing platform, specifically designed for students and educators – exclusively endorsed by over twenty national education associations.” SchoolTube has users representing over 50,000 schools and 1,000 new videos uploaded daily by their users. The creators of SchoolTube saw a void in the video content market. There was nowhere to go for moderated content that was safe for use in an educational environment, and they filled it. Now, SchoolTube can pitch themselves to companies that produce educational content as a way to get themselves into America’s classrooms. SchoolTube can provide access to a market segment that YouTube and Vimeo can’t.

What about non-educational content? YouTube, who already owns the hearts and eyeballs of America’s teens and 20-somethings, is rumored to be in the process of developing a video site just for kids. While the news of “Kids’ YouTube” is currently just hearsay, SchoolTube has proven that there is a need on the Internet for kids’ oriented content. Marketers who work with children’s products and children’s content producers should take particular note of these emerging networks.

There’s also a trick to reaching kid tweens and teens on social media. Find out how brands are doing it successfully here and here.