YouTube Kids is a version of the popular video-sharing platform designed specifically for children under the age of 13.
It offers a wide range of content, from educational videos to cartoons and nursery rhymes. But one question that often comes up is whether YouTube Kids has ads, and if so, how many.
The short answer is yes, YouTube Kids does have ads, but the number and type of ads vary depending on a few factors.
First, let’s talk about the types of ads you might see on YouTube Kids. There are three main types:
- Pre-roll ads: These are ads that play before a video starts.
- Mid-roll ads: These are ads that play in the middle of a video.
- Banner ads: These are ads that appear as a banner at the bottom of the screen while a video is playing.
Now, let’s look at the numbers. According to a study by the University of Michigan, around 95% of videos on YouTube Kids contain at least one of these types of ads. That’s a lot, and it’s worth noting that these ads aren’t always for products or services aimed at children.
In fact, a separate study by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood found that over 50% of ads on YouTube Kids were for food and drinks that are high in sugar, salt, or fat. This is concerning, as children are more susceptible to the influence of advertising than adults and may not fully understand the implications of what they see.
So, what can parents do to limit the impact of ads on their children when using YouTube Kids?
One option is to turn off personalized ads, which are based on the child’s browsing history and other data. This can be done in the app’s settings.
Another option is to use an ad blocker. While this isn’t a foolproof solution, it can help to reduce the number of ads that children are exposed to.
Types of ads on YouTube Kids
|Type of ad
|Ads that play before a video starts
|Ads that play in the middle of a video
|Ads that appear as a banner at the bottom of the screen
Percentage of YouTube Kids videos containing ads
|Type of ad
|Percentage of videos with this type of ad
YouTube Kids also has sponsored content, which is essentially a form of advertising. Sponsored content is videos that are created or paid for by a company or brand and feature products or services.
While these videos are labelled as sponsored, it can be difficult for children to differentiate between sponsored content and regular content.
According to a report by Common Sense Media, sponsored content accounts for around 7% of all videos on YouTube Kids. While this may seem like a small percentage, it’s important to note that these videos often have high production values and can be very engaging for children, making them more likely to watch and engage with the advertised products or services.
Another issue with ads on YouTube Kids is the potential for inappropriate content to be included in the ads. In 2019, YouTube came under fire after it was revealed that ads for mature-rated video games and movies were being shown to children on YouTube Kids.
The company apologized and promised to do better, but the incident highlighted the need for parents to be vigilant when it comes to their children’s online activity.
|Percentage of Internet Users Who Use YouTube
(Source: Pew Research Center, 2021)
As for YouTube use and kids, here are some relevant stats:
- YouTube is the most popular social media platform among US teens, with 85% of those aged 13 to 17 using the platform. (Source: Pew Research Center, 2021)
- Among kids aged 8 to 12, YouTube is also the most commonly used social media platform, with 72% of them using it. (Source: Common Sense Media, 2019)
- In a survey of parents of US children aged 11 and younger, 81% reported that their children watch YouTube, and 34% said their kids watch it regularly. (Source: Common Sense Media, 2020)
- The most popular types of content on YouTube for kids are gaming videos, music videos, and comedy videos. (Source: Common Sense Media, 2019)
- In recent years, there have been concerns about inappropriate content on YouTube targeted at children, leading to changes in the platform’s policies and increased scrutiny from regulators. (Source: CNBC, 2019)
So, what can parents do to minimize the impact of ads on their children when using YouTube Kids? Here are a few tips:
- Use parental controls: YouTube Kids has a range of parental controls that allow parents to limit the content their children can access. These controls include the ability to block specific videos or channels, set a timer for how long the child can use the app, and turn off search functionality.
- Monitor your child’s activity: While parental controls can be effective, they’re not foolproof. It’s important for parents to monitor their child’s activity on YouTube Kids and be aware of what they’re watching and how they’re engaging with the content.
- Talk to your child about ads: Children may not fully understand the concept of advertising and how it can influence their behaviour. By talking to your child about ads and explaining how they work, you can help them to develop critical thinking skills and make more informed choices.
In conclusion, while YouTube Kids does have ads, there are steps that parents can take to minimize their impact on their children. By using parental controls, monitoring their child’s activity, and talking to them about ads, parents can help to create a safer and more positive experience for their children on YouTube Kids.