According to research released on Thursday, YouTube videos featuring young children drew nearly triple the average viewership of the platform’s other content. The research paved a way for child advocates who want Alphabet to take more aggressive steps to make its streaming service safer for kids.
The pew-research centre said its research shows videos targeted to or featuring children had a larger number of viewers than any other content.
In recent years, YouTube has come under fire from lawmakers and parent groups who contend it has not done enough to protect the privacy of minors.
Centre for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last year, saying that Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was violated by YouTube.
The complaint said that the company made a huge amount of money by using children’s personal information and profited from revenues from ads on its YouTube channels that are viewed by children.
CCFC Executive Director Josh Golin said, “YouTube likes to pretend it’s not a site for children until it’s time to sell ads.“
YouTube, which announced 2 billion monthly users in May said, “We have always been clear YouTube has never been for people under 13“. YouTube shares limited data but music, gaming, and kids are always on top in terms of viewership.
Pew researchers analyzed activity during the first week of 2019 on nearly 44,000 YouTube channels with more than 250,000 subscribers.
Of the 243,000 videos uploaded that week, only 2 percent featured at least one individual that looked under 13 years old to human reviewers. But according to the report, the smaller subset received an average of 298,000 views, compared to 97,000 for childless videos. The average viewership figures were around 57,000 and 14,000.
Pew said the Channels that uploaded at least one video featuring a child averaged 1.8 million subscribers, compared to 1.2 million for those that did not