Amid controversies over how YouTube has been handling content aimed at children on its network, YouTube is making a number of its previously subscription-only YouTube Red shows available on its YouTube Kids application for the first time as part of a new promotion.
The shows come from YouTube Red, the subscription offering launched in fall 2015 as another means of monetizing the YouTube network, while offering an upgraded experience to those who don’t want to deal with ads.
Some original shows have been available in the Kids app before now, but not for free.
Last year, for example, YouTube bundled the Kids app into its subscription program, so that paying customers could watch the kid-friendly Red originals in the dedicated app for children.
Now, YouTube is bringing five Red originals to free users, as well, but only through the holidays.
This newly free lineup includes DanTDM Creates a Big Scene, a show featuring YouTube star DanTDM’s 2017 tour; Hyperlinked, a 10-episode series about popular girl group L2m; Kings of Atlantis, an animated series about two monarchs who rule the underwater city of Atlantis; Fruit Ninja: Frenzy Force, an animated series inspired by the game; and We Are Savvy, a show about three internet-obsessed best friends.
The five shows will be available to watch in English in the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe.
Subtitled episodes will also be available in Latin America, Korea, and France, says YouTube.
Unfortunately, the shows won’t be available for free indefinitely. Instead of trying to entice angered parents back to the now much-maligned Kids application by offering higher-quality (and safer) content, the YouTube Red shows are only free until January 2nd, 2018.
That makes the addition more like a run-of-the-mill holiday promotion rather than part of a larger correction focused on fixing the problems with the offensive content across the YouTube network.
In recent weeks, YouTube has been called out for its lack of policing around content aimed at children, for the obscene comments posted on videos of children, for its horrifying search suggestions, and more. Advertisers then pulled their dollars as a result, forcing YouTube into action. The company has since promised to increase its staff of content moderators and others to 10,000 in 2018, and raised ad prices for premium channels – essentially in an effort to profit from the controversy.
Now it’s taking advantage of people’s concerns over content to promote its ‘safer’ – and soon to become paid – YouTube Red shows, too.