SuperAwesome’s KidSafe Social Video (KSV) is used by over 150 leading brands to reach kids and families through safe contextual advertising on YouTube and beyond. Without a platform like KSV, advertisers run the risk of wasting budget on irrelevant or unsafe content.

But how does it work? We sat down with Mike Hutchinson, Chief Product Officer at SuperAwesome, to discuss this unique product. Keep reading to learn how KSV came to be and how it helps make the internet a safer place for families, kids, and Young Teens.

Why was KSV created? What problem does it solve?

In 2009, the typical household family watched eight hours and 21 minutes a day of television on average. As a brand, your biggest challenge was whether or not you appeared within that time window. But today, these viewers are no longer limited to linear television or even video environments. Kids and family TV viewership is down more than eight hours per week from 2011 to 2019, with this time being replaced by gaming, streaming, and other digital alternatives.

Change in Time Spent Watching TV by Age Group

In today's fragmented media landscape, social video platforms like YouTube are one of the most effective ways to reach young audiences at scale.
Live + VOD + DVR + Broadcast, Based on Q1s
Source: Matthew Ball/Nielsen

In this fragmented media landscape, social video platforms like YouTube are one of the most effective ways to reach young audiences at scale. In fact, children under eight years old are now watching more videos online than on live TV or through streaming services, for an average of 39 minutes a day. But unlike television content, anyone can create online video content; brands must be careful to avoid being associated with content that is not suitable for young viewers. Beyond that, to be most effective, they need to choose content and channels that are relevant to their audiences demographics, including age and gender.

KSV was created as a solution that provides a universe of content on YouTube’s main platform that is a safe, relevant match for brands as well as the kids and families they’d most like to reach.

How does KSV curate content that is appropriate for kids and Young Teens?

We use a variety of both automated and human-driven techniques to discover emerging content across YouTube. Based on our understanding of the kids digital landscape and drawing on our research and experience from our AwesomeAds marketplace, all content goes through an automated moderation process. It is also reviewed by trained human moderators to make more nuanced decisions. Any content that is deemed inappropriate for kids and Young Teens (for example, explicit language or violence) is rejected. 

What is deemed appropriate and relevant for under-16 audiences varies greatly by age—consider the developmental differences and varying interests between a five-year-old and a 15-year-old. There are subtle distinctions between audience age brackets, genders, and locations that our expert content curators can identify; this includes everything from the genre of a channel, its category, the language of the content, as well as how established the channel is.

Only a small fraction of YouTube's content is suitable for kids. KidSafe Social Video helps brands pinpoint this content through unique proprietary research, insights, and machine learning, backed by a human moderation process.
KSV helps brands pinpoint safe content through unique proprietary research, insights, and machine learning, backed by a human moderation process.

But how is this different from “made for kids” content? 

In early 2020, YouTube implemented a policy which requires content creators to mark any child-directed content as “made for kids.” While this is a step in the right direction, the definition of “kids’ content” is subjective and relies on content creators to correctly label their videos or channels. As a result, “made for kids” content can be inconsistent and can change day-to-day. Therefore, “made for kids” as an isolated reference is not sufficient as a data point to target or avoid content. 

Of the tens of thousands of channels we have curated:

  • 27% of our approved channels are not considered “made for kids”, but we have found these channels to be safe and appropriate, with a large kids and family viewership.
  • 37% of the content we have rejected has been marked “made for kids” (either on the video itself or the channel). We reject this content because it is inappropriate, not created with kids and families in mind as a primary audience, or the channel is inactive. 

How is KSV evolving over time to meet the needs of brands?

Human curated content backed by credible insights and research is the most effective approach to managing kids and family social video campaigns. KSV continues to improve as we learn the content and channels that audiences connect with and funnel these insights into future campaigns. This enables you to align your campaign to curated content that matches your target audience, putting the control in your hands.

By using KSV, our 30 second campaigns typically achieve a 30-40% view rate. In comparison, without using KSV, we have seen kids and family campaign view rates below 20% due to not being able to optimize to the right context. 

How does KSV connect with SuperAwesome’s mission of making the internet safer for kids?

A safer internet for kids and Young Teens is one in which young people are able to easily access appropriate, relevant, high-quality content free of charge. In addition to partnering with brands and publishers, we are dedicated to supporting the kids and family content creator ecosystem. Through our suite of products, including KSV, we align brands with top content creators who adhere to our SafeFam values. This allows brands to confidently and effectively engage young audiences while also empowering the best content creators to continue to produce innovative content for young audiences.


To find out more about KidSafe Social Video and how it can help you engage kids, Young Teens, and families, get in touch today.