Strung-out parents, help is coming. Spotify is testing a new app targeted at the youngest of music fans.
Aimed at kids aged three and over, Spotify Kids is pitched as a dedicated “playground of sound” for youngsters with safety and privacy built into its architecture.
The new platform promises playlists made for little tackers, music and story discovery features, offline listening, and certain parent controls.
Mums and dads can choose the “Audio for Younger Kids” or “Audio for Older Kids” experience, with all the content curated by Spotify’s editorial team and licensed via a raft of content providers including Nickelodeon, Disney, Discovery Kids and Universal Pictures.
Don’t expect any Lil Wayne cuts to slip in there.
Spotify Kids launched Wednesday in beta in Ireland, though a full commercial rollout in Australia and elsewhere has not yet been announced.
The user experience is said to look very different from the regular Spotify app, and should feel “fun, familiar, playful, simple and bursting with colour,” a company statement reads.
The standalone app is exclusive to the Swedish streaming giant’s Premium Family subscribers. And because of this, Spotify Kids might have hit on its key selling point: no ads.
Sweden has a reputation as a world leader in early learning and children’s rights. The Global Child Forum, the non-profit foundation launched 10 years ago to advance children’s rights, is based in Stockholm. It makes sense for Spotify to get involved.
“Spotify is committed to giving billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by music and stories and we’re proud that this commitment now includes the next generation of audio listeners,” says Spotify’s Chief Premium Business Officer Alex Norström in a statement announcing the new initiative.
Over time, the digital media giant plans to expand its app experience to incorporate best practices and learnings, including insights from parents and caregivers and other experts.
“We appreciate the thoughtful approach Spotify has taken to encourage safe, independent play and artistic enrichment for children in their new Kids app,” comments U.S.-based National Children’s Museum president and CEO Crystal Bowyer.
Ad-free is a winner. Ask any parent, their natural-born enemy is the brand who bombards their kid with commercials. It’s for this reason, the BBC launched its ad-free CBeebies channel for 0-6 year-olds back in 2002. The ABC has its own ABC KIDS programming. Both are godsends for exhausted parents.
The jury is still out on YouTube Kids.
Writing in The Brag, Luke Girgis, CEO of The Brag Media (parent to The Industry Observer), is no fan. Under the headline ‘YouTube Kids is brain poison,’ Girgis wrote, “It seems harsh, but the reality is leaving your children in the hands of the YouTube Kids app is literally handing over your child’s brain development for that time to random adults all over the world with a camera + an algorithm designed to purely increase watch time hours on their app. No thank you.”