Kidoodle.TV sees changes at YouTube as opportunity to win advertisers, creators

Kidoodle.TV co-founder Neil Gruninger says advertisers and content producers who want to reach children under the age of 13 are increasingly turning to the Calgary-based startup as an alternative to YouTube’s global platform.

“We get content producers, and YouTubers, knocking on our door every day now because of the success we’ve had,” Gruninger says. ”They know the types of revenue they can make from Kidoodle.TV.”

He says the Kidoodle.TV media platform — which switched last year from a completely ad-free model to a hybrid ad-subscription business — has attracted content producers who are worried about changes at Google’s YouTube unit.

Google recently agreed to pay US$170 million to settle allegations that YouTube violated the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting personal data on children without their parents’ consent.

YouTube’s creative partners were informed in September, in accordance with the settlement, that they have only a few months to ensure they’re not using behavioural data to target child audiences on its platform.

“If applicable, this may result in a decrease in revenue from some creators,” YouTube said in a Sept. 4 statement.

Gruninger says Kidoodle.TV has never collected the kind of behavioural data that got Google and YouTube in trouble with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and New York’s attorney general.

Moreover, Gruninger says Kidoodle.TV pays its content producers on the basis of user downloads, with flat rates per thousand views regardless of advertising — so it’s possible for them to earn more than they would with YouTube.

To help generate more ad revenue, Kidoodle.TV has also enlisted one of Canada’s biggest media companies — Corus Entertainment, owner of the Treehouse and YTV specialty channels — as its Canadian advertising representative.

“We feel we’re going to be able to do a lot more here in Canada (with Corus) compared to what we would do on our own,” Gruninger says.

It’s not that there’s a shortage of competition facing Kidoodle.TV, either for advertisers or viewers.

DHX Media, for instance, has seen so much growth at its advertising-supported video-on-demand unit that the company will be renamed WildBrain and its AVOD service will be renamed WildBrain Spark.

The Halifax-based company — which is a global distributor and content producer with several Canadian specialty TV channels including Family and Family Jr. — said WildBrain Spark had nearly 33 billion views worldwide last year.

Regarding YouTube’s recent decision to ban “interest based” children’s advertising — which is tailored to individual users, DHX president Josh Serba told analysts that WildBrain uses “contextual” advertising.”

“These are ads which rely on audience measurement and demographics. And to put in plain terms, it’s how advertising has always worked on television,” Serba said.

“We know that we have a great collection of quality content that attracts massive audiences, and we believe that advertising will continue to be an important part of the monetization.”

At Kidoodle.TV, which sources its content from third-party creators including animated content from Corus’s Nelvana unit, Gruninger acknowledges it faces a few other child-oriented video platforms with advertising — including Google’s own YouTube Kids and the independent Toon Goggle — but that doesn’t diminish his optimism.

“We have contextualized programming that is completely COPPA-compliant,” Gruninger says. ”That’s been a huge win for us and I think that’s why a lot of advertisers are coming our way, and coming back for more.”

Just Posted

Sexual predator preyed on his own young daughter and niece

Eckville man sexually assaulted numerous children as young as two for nearly a decade

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

OTTAWA — Signs began to emerge Friday that the coming race to… Continue reading

Man who tried to kill Edmonton police officer, pedestrians sentenced to 28 years

EDMONTON — A man convicted of attacking an Edmonton police officer and… Continue reading

Iraq’s top Shiite cleric condemns gruesome hanging of teen

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s top Shiite cleric on Friday denounced the killing of… Continue reading

Boy, 13, arrested in killing of Barnard College freshman

NEW YORK — A 13-year-old boy was arrested Friday in the stabbing… Continue reading

Drug bust: Red Deer RCMP seize drugs, cash, vehicles

Criminals are getting creative. Red Deer RCMP have seized cash and vehicles… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Rode: Calleja Misson has a passion for hockey

The first time Calleja Misson saw hockey on television she knew she… Continue reading

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

OTTAWA — Signs began to emerge Friday that the coming race to… Continue reading

POLL: Did you get a flu shot this season?

Did you get a flu shot this season?… Continue reading

Man who tried to kill Edmonton police officer, pedestrians sentenced to 28 years

EDMONTON — A man convicted of attacking an Edmonton police officer and… Continue reading

We have to accept responsibility when life goes wrong

Several times, I have read articles about a drunk driver causing an… Continue reading

Christmas in Disneyland is a bucket-list blast for our anniversary

So, another anniversary arrived unexpectedly. The wedding kind. As in “anni” –… Continue reading

Iraq’s top Shiite cleric condemns gruesome hanging of teen

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s top Shiite cleric on Friday denounced the killing of… Continue reading

Most Read