To comply with COPPA, YouTube has restricted many of its monetization features for kid-friendly channels. Here’s how to keep making money anyway.
Late last year, YouTube enforced new guidelines for kid-focused content. The most important rule was that channels had to be categorized as either ‘Made For Kids’ or suitable for ages 13 and older. The goal was to make sure children were only watching age-appropriate content on YouTube. Historically, the platform has struggled to filter mature videos and ads, and in response, the Federal Trade Commission fined YouTube $170M for violating the COPPA Act. After such a hefty penalty, YouTube had to clean its house - hence, the addition of a ‘Made For Kids’ category.
To learn more, watch this video explaining everything you need to know about YouTube, COPPA, and the FTC:
OK, let’s be honest. This is great news for parents. Arguably, fewer children will see questionable content on YouTube. But as great as that sounds, where do these new restrictions leave creators?
One crushing reality of YouTube’s 'Made for Kids' decision is creators could make a lot less money from the platform. Whenever a channel is classified as ‘Made for Kids’, it’s not eligible to show personalized ads to viewers. That means no matter how old viewers are, those that watch kid-related content won’t be shown the ads they’re most likely to watch or click on. Over time, that results in less money for creators.
Nevertheless, YouTubers with kid-focused channels can still make money from their content. If you’re in that category, take a deep breath, relax, and keep reading to explore all your money-making options.
1: Sell Kid-Friendly Merchandise to Your YouTube Audience
As a Made For Kids channel, you can increase your revenue with brand-specific merchandise. Plenty of YouTubers are doing that right now, and they’re selling a range of products, such as clothing, toys, mugs, and workout equipment.
Unfortunately, Made For Kids creators aren’t allowed to display a carousel of products underneath their videos. This is one of the new rules YouTube is enforcing to comply with the COPPA Act. To work around this, direct your loyal viewers to an off-platform e-commerce site that houses all your products. There are plenty to choose from, such as:
Once you’ve created your wonderful, made-for-kids store, be loud and proud about it! You can start by adding the store link to video descriptions, but don’t stop there. Mention it verbally in your videos and add screenshots that show what the store looks like, what viewers can buy, and the website URL.
Also, don’t forget to mention the value of your products. Plenty of wide-eyed children may want to play with your toys, games, and other merch, but in the end, it’s the parents you’ll have to convince. They hold all the money, so make the purchasing decision easy for them by spelling out the benefits.
As you encourage viewers to leave YouTube and view your digital store, Watch Time on your channel may decrease. If that happens to you, don’t worry - just be a tad more strategic with your in-video marketing. You can always wait until the end of a video to mention your digital store and keep viewers watching.
2: Fund Your Videos With Brand Sponsorships
As a Made For Kids channel, I’m sure you know how popular kid-themed videos are on YouTube. Sometimes it’s shocking how lullabies, animated characters, and toy reviews can rack up millions of views. I mean, seriously! “Baby Shark Dance,” a video by Pinkfong that has 6.3B views, was inescapable for at least two years.
As you can see, kid-focused creators have a huge advantage online. To harness your full potential and make more money, set your sights on a brand sponsorship.
Think you need millions of subscribers to make it happen? Well, consider this: Channels with less influence are attracting popular brands every day. For example, this video from Moonbug Kids Learning Corner, titled, “Potty Song with Pampers Nappy Pants,” was in fact, sponsored by Pampers:
And best of all? Moonbug Kids Learning Corner has less than 100K subscribers.
3: Join Extra Platforms That Pay Kid-Focused Creators
YouTube is a popular platform with children, so don’t abandon it altogether. According to a 2020 Statista survey, 35% of U.S. parents let kids 11 and younger watch YouTube several times a day.
Even still, you have to be realistic about your revenue. If a lack of personalized ads is decreasing your income, it’s time to share your content on additional platforms.
Luckily, a few websites are paying kid-focused creators for their content. Boost your income by joining these kids-only streaming platforms: