YouTube Kids, the video-streaming service app owned by Google that is aimed at the youth has revealed that it is joining hands with a couple of major book publishers in a global initiative known as #ReadAlong month. The goal of the initiative is to encourage kids to read and enhance their reading skills.
Some of the book publishers that YouTube Kids has partnered with include National Geographic Kids, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Penguin Random House and HarperCollins. The contribution of the publishers to the initiative has included developing digital content that is aimed at promoting a reading culture such as book reviews written by and for children as well as read-along videos.
The strategic programming manager on the family and learning team on YouTube, Hema Bajaj, disclosed that the company decided to get involved with the #ReadAlong campaign because reading-focused videos resonated well with younger users on the platform.
“We saw that our community was not only already producing content of this sort, but that viewers were also loving it and engaging with it,” said Bajaj.
Children book reviewers
Among the new content that will be available this year includes a series of videos from HarperCollins titled ‘Kid Critic’ which involve youngsters reviewing children’s books. The Curious World YouTube channel by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish at least one storybook video every day throughout the month. The storybook video will consist of book text as well as voice and will be part of the ’30 Fairytales and Fables #ReadAlong’ playlist.
Also to be featured in this year’s campaign will be playlists created by Martellus Bennett, an NFL player, for Father’s day. There will also be content from Universal Pictures and the characters featured will include ones drawn from popular animated movies such as Despicable Me. National Geographic Kids will, on the other hand, have on its YouTube channel reading-focused videos which revolve around the firm’s non-fiction books covering topics such as nature and animals.
On average the number of active viewers on YouTube Kids reaches 8 million every week. While last year’s campaign on YouTube Kids only targeted English-speaking users, this year the number of languages have been added with Portuguese, Spanish and other languages now available in about 18 countries.