According to the findings of the Pew Research Centre YouTube content that features children attract more viewers.
There is no doubt that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet. It sits just behind its parent company, Google, which has always been the top search engine around the world. Due to the massive number of people using YouTube, the platform became prone to threats, especially for younger people who use it.
Younger children, who might see videos that are not appropriate to their age are not the only ones who are prone to threat. Rather, children, who are featured in a lot of YouTube videos are also exposed to a number of threats as their videos might draw the attention of child predators. For this reason, many organizations are demanding the platform to implement a stricter policy with regards to content that feature children.
The New YouTube Kids On The Block
YouTube videos whose content are young children was found out to draw up to three times more viewership than the average of the other content in the platform. The recent study provided support for child advocates who want Alphabet to take stronger steps in order to make it’s streaming safer for children.
In addition, Pew Research Centre noted that its findings showed that videos catered to or feature children are included in the most popular materials on YouTube. Such content attracts a massive number of audiences in relation to the number uploaded.
Notably, buying YouTube real views has been under controversy for the past years.0 This is because lawmakers, as well as parent groups, contended that the platform is not doing 10enough to protect the privacy of minors. Last year, a complaint was also filed by the Centre for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood or CCFC with the Federal Trade Commission or FTC. According to the complainants, Google, the parent company of YouTube violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Making Money Mean Making Drama
According to the complaint, the company behind YouTube made a massive amount of money by using the personal information of children. The complaint also stated that YouTube gained profit from advertising revenues that it acquired from advertisements on channels that children watch.
Moreover, Josh Golin, the executive director of CCFC said that YouTube is pretending that it is not a platform for children until it is time to sell advertisements. However, according to YouTube, the company made it clear that the platform has never been for users under 13 years of age.
YouTube shares unlimited content. However, videos that feature music, gaming as well as kids’ content rank higher when it comes to view count. In May, the platform publicized that it has over two billion active monthly users.
Groups Called Out YouTube to Block Age-inappropriate Content
Other groups called YouTube, demanding it to take more steps to block age-inappropriate videos and to deter possible predators. These complaints pushed YouTube to punish parents who upload videos where kids are placed under dangerous situations. In addition, the company noted that it is weighing additional charges.
Moreover, the proponents of the Pew research said that they analyzed activity within the first week of 2019. This analysis involved nearly 44,000 YouTube channels that have over 250,000 subscribers.
It was found out that only two percent of the 243,000 videos uploaded during that week has at least one individual that looked less than 13 years old in the eyes of viewers. However, this small portion of videos received 298,000 views on average. This is much higher compared to 97,000 average views of videos that did not feature children. According to the report, the figures for median viewership were about 57,000 to 14,000.
Where Pew Research Comes In
Pew also added that YouTube channels that uploaded at least a single video where a child is featured had an average of 1.8 million subscribers. On the other hand, those channels that did not feature any child on their channel only had an average of 1.2 million subscribers.
According to YouTube, its company could not release any comment on the survey methods and results found out by the Pew Research Centre. The platform also said that comedy, sports, music, as well as how-to videos, are the most popular categories among its content.
On the other hand, the most popular videos that feature children are those that contain parenting tips, dressing children up as well as children who are singing.
Platform Policies Could Save The Day
In the platform’s policies, children under 13 years of age are prohibited from using YouTube’s main service. Instead, children under the said age are directed to the YouTube Kids app. This app holds all the child-friendly videos that children can watch even without the supervision of their parents or guardian. Still, other research found that most parents are using YouTube’s main app when trying to entertain their children with videos.
Furthermore, featuring kids on videos in order to increase viewership is something that many content creators on YouTube do. For instance, the YouTube channel called The Verge Family was able to garner more than 16 million subscribers in a span of fewer than three years. Jake Paul, a vlogger known for videos that contain pranks, invited a family to live with him, so he could create videos that feature Tydus, the family’s son whose age is four years old.
Content creators on YouTube see videos that feature children as a way to guarantee ad revenue. This is because children’s videos are extremely popular with viewers.
YouTube is Trying to Change A Part of Its Culture
However, in the light of the investigation into kids’ safety on the platform done by the Federal Trade Commission, as well as reports saying that YouTube is becoming a haven for predators, the platform is trying to change a part of its culture. Comment sections for videos that feature kids are now already disabled by the platform. Reportedly, YouTube is also looking to change its algorithm in a way that could affect the type of videos being recommended.