YouTube deploys AI to tighten up age restrictions on videos

YouTube is keen to ensure that underage viewers aren’t watching videos that are inappropriate. It’s announced plans to “build on our approach of using machine learning to detect content for review, by developing and adapting our technology to help us automatically apply age-restrictions”. In other words, YouTube’s AI will be rating videos, although uploaders will be able […]

WMG’s Arts Music signs YouTube kids brand Super Simple Songs

Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division has been steadily growing its catalogue of kids and family music, with partners including Sesame Workshop, Mattel and Build-a-Bear Workshop. Its latest deal is with a popular YouTube children’s music brand, Super Simple Songs. Well, with its parent company Skyship Entertainment anyway, which will be making the Super Simple Songs […]

10 talking points around kids, music and technology in 2020

Last month, Music Ally took part in the BPI and ERA’s New Kids on the Block online event, looking at children’s digital habits and what they mean for music. Research company Kids Insights produced a report for the event too, which has been published today. We contributed a section on some of the interesting stories […]

Sandbox Issue 258: KIDS’ STUFF. Music’s youngest and most powerful consumers

Lead: we report back on our recent New Kids On The Block: Insight Into A New Generation online conference that we ran in conjunction with UK trade bodies the BPI and ERA, drawing out the 10 key lessons from the different panels and presentations. These include: children are much more active (and increasingly so) than previously presumed; […]

Roblox head of music tells labels and artists: ‘We’re open for business!’

“Who in the room knows Roblox?” asked WMG’s chief innovation officer for recorded music Scott Cohen at the NY:LON Connect conference in January. Only a few people put their hands up in response. “It’s a gaming platform for kids, and they not only play games, they create their own games and play those games with […]

Report: half of US 9-12 year-olds play Roblox every week

People in the music business (us included) bang on about Fortnite a lot, but we think Roblox is another gaming platform that should be less under the radar for our industry. A new report by children’s media research firm Dubit offers some stats that might help. “Half of all children aged 9-12 in the USA […]

After India ban, TikTok could face further sanctions in US

TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have been hit by a ban in India as part of a wider crackdown on apps of Chinese origin. But there may be trouble brewing for the companies in the US, too, due both to the political jockeying around hardball trade negotiations between the US and China, and specific […]

New study breaks down kids’ YouTube and TikTok habits

Sit down for this shocker: children spend quite a lot of time on YouTube and TikTok! Who knew? Next thing, someone will be telling us that they quite like Fortnite too. But no snark: a company called Qustodio, whose product is a parental control app, has been digging into its data to quantify exactly how […]

Andy and the Odd Socks launch new album with kids’ parties

Andy Day is a popular children’s TV presenter in the UK on TV channel CBeebies, but he’s also been building a music career as the frontman of Andy and the Odd Socks. The band’s new album comes out today (22 May) through Sony Music’s children’s entertainment label Magic Star, and there’s an inventive marketing campaign around […]

Popgun takes its AI-powered Splash music-making app to Roblox

We’ve written regularly about Australian AI-music startup Popgun, including its belief that AI could be the secret sauce for a service “where teenagers come together to make music for each other… the ‘pop stars on training wheels’ place where they make music for each other, release it and watch each other pretend to be pop […]

Cope-ing mechanism: 90s indie singer returns as kids’ star

Nick Cope was lead singer in British indie band The Candyskins, who were Oxford contemporaries of (if not as big as) Supergrass back in the 1990s. They broke up in 1998, and although they’ve reunited for a few one-off concerts since, there’s also an interesting postscript to their story in the new career of frontman […]

Children’s music booms on platforms from YouTube to JioSaavn

One of the factors in YouTube’s viewing increase (see story higher up this bulletin) is the fact that schools are closed in many countries, and children are getting (even) more time on screens. At the younger end of the age range, that’s having a notable impact on the figures for children’s music channels. Witness the latest […]

YouTube Kids may be the top video streaming app of 2020 so far

Apptopia is one of a cluster of app analytics firms (see also: App Annie, Sensor Tower) mining the app stores for data on the size and growth of the apps market. Its latest report is co-published with a customer engagement firm called Braze, and focuses on the video streaming world. The part that caught our […]

SuperAwesome report: ‘Everyone is a kids and family brand now’

Just as many parents are teachers now, so when it comes to the world of technology and digital services “everyone is a kids and family brand now”. That’s the tagline for a report by kid-tech firm SuperAwesome, which explores what the coronavirus pandemic (and the stay-at-home measures being deployed to battle it) mean for businesses. […]

Spotify Kids expands again, as country playlist Indigo launches

With parents across the world still getting to grips with home-schooling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and associated social-distancing measures, digital services aimed at children are having a big moment in the spotlight. Spotify had already launched its Spotify Kids app in a range of countries, but yesterday it expanded to the world’s biggest music […]

Spotify for Kids app launches in beta, starting in Ireland

Spotify now has 248 million monthly active users, but how many of them are children? We don’t know, and neither does Spotify: its minimum age varies across the world, but the lowest is 13 years old with parent or guardian consent. Anecdotally, though, plenty of parents have ignored this stipulation and added under-13s to their […]

Spotify upgrades family plan with new features (but same price… for now)

Last week, it was reported that Spotify will test a price increase for its family-plan subscription in Scandinavia. This morning, the company is announcing that it is launching an “upgraded” version of the plan globally, although the press release sent out by Spotify made it clear in the very first paragraph that this is “for […]

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