YouTube to woo kids with new app ‘YouTube Kids’

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YouTube on Thursday confirmed it will soon launch a new child-friendly version of the video streaming service dubbed ‘YouTube Kids’.

The YouTube Kids App, which will be available on Google Play and Android beginning Feb. 23 for free, is expected to feature original episodes of popular television shows for preschoolers, including “Sesame Street” and “Thomas the Tank Engine” as well as content from the many kid-safe channels including Jim Henson TV, DreamWorks TV, National Geographic Kids, Reading Rainbow and popular YouTubers.

Channels and playlists featuring tutorials, songs and other family-focused content will come organized into four different categories- show, music, learning and explore.The app will also feature parental controls allowing adults to monitor watch time of videos and turn sound or search on videos on and off.

The new app will be completely separate from the mainstream YouTube mobile app and will feature a kid-friendly design, big icons and minimal scrolling. YouTube has already partnered with NGOs and other family advocacy groups to get the app tested in advance.

The app is scheduled to be released by YouTube executive Malik Ducard at Kidscreen Summit, a conference for the children’s entertainment industry, on February 23rd.

It’s not yet clear how YouTube plans to make money from its new app.