Common Sense Networks launches Sensical, a free, hand-curated streaming service for kids – TechCrunch


Common Sense Media has made a title for itself amongst mother and father as a helpful useful resource for vetting leisure and expertise by way of its age-appropriateness. Now, the group’s for-profit affiliate, Common Sense Networks, is taking inspiration from these kid-friendly suggestions with the launch of a new streaming service referred to as Sensical. The service affords age-appropriate, entertaining, and academic movies for kids ages 2 by 10.

At launch, the free, ad-supported service contains over 15,000 hand-curated movies and over 50 topic-based channels for kids to discover. And not like different platforms, like Netflix or YouTube, Sensical doesn’t use algorithms to make content material suggestions. Instead, kids are inspired to observe their very own pursuits and passions throughout over 50 topic-based channels. This contains issues like Adventures, Animals, Arts & Crafts, Music, Science, Sports, Video Games, and different types of kid-friendly subjects.

Kids can star these channels, or particular person movies or collection, with a view to sustain with their favourite content material in a devoted Favorites part inside the app.

They will see a choice of these channels based mostly on their age, however the firm is working to develop the channel lineup so there might be much more particular classes sooner or later. For instance, as a substitute of simply “sports,” there may very well be channels like “soccer” or “gymnastics.” Instead of “Arts,” there may very well be “drawing” or “origami.” Instead of simply “science,” it might embrace channels like “geography” or “robotics,” and so forth.

Image Credits: Common Sense Networks

The app additionally options a Live TV part, which is programmed all through the day with kid-friendly content material, so kids don’t must browse to search out one thing to shortly watch.

While different streaming providers in the marketplace supply kid-friendly content material — as that’s a big promoting level for subscribers — it’s not all the time organized in a method that is sensible. Sometimes, all of the content material will get lumped into a basic “Kids” class the place movies for little kids are combined in with content material for older kids. Sensical, in the meantime, curates the content material suggestions into three completely different experiences, together with preschool (2-4), little kids (5-7), and large kids (8-10).

What the kid sees relies on how mother and father configure their profiles. Plus, mother and father can use the service’s ParentZone in-app dashboard to set screen-time limits, prolong limits as wanted, and look at day by day experiences on what the kid has watched.

The service’s greatest function, nevertheless, is that the content material is assured to be age-appropriate — even the adverts.

This is feasible as a result of the curation strategy Sensical takes could be very completely different from YouTube Kids. YouTube’s app for kids leans on algorithms to filter out grownup content material from YouTube’s broader library, however the firm doesn’t manually review all of the movies it contains. It warns mother and father that some inappropriate content material might slip by. (And it has.)

Common Sense Networks, in the meantime, says dozens of educated child-development consultants view, vet and price “every single frame of video” that goes reside on its service utilizing its proprietary IP and patent-pending course of. This system includes tagging content material with particular child-developmental advantages, too.

Sensical additionally vets its promoting, which is how the service is supported, with comparable direct oversight. Its consultants review the sponsor’s content material to make sure it’s applicable for kids — an space that’s typically ignored on different providers.

Image Credits: Common Sense Networks

To fill its library, Common Sense Networks partnered with dozens of studios and distribution companions, in addition to digital-first creators.

Studio and distribution companions embrace CAKE (Poppy Cat), Cyber Group Studios (Leo The Wildlife Ranger), The Jim Henson Company (The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Jim Henson’s Animal Show with Stinky and Jake), Mattel (Kipper, Pingu, Max Steel), Raydar Media (Five Apples’ restricted collection, Apple Tree House), Superights (Bo Bear, Handico), WildBrain (Teletubbies, Rev & Roll), Xilam Animation (Learn and Play with Paprika, Moka’s Fabulous Adventures), ZDF Enterprises (Lexi & Lottie, School of Roars), Zodiak Kids (Mister Maker, Tee and Mo), ABC Commercial, CBC & Radio-Canada Distribution, Jetpack Distribution, Nelvana, 9 Story Distribution International, Sesame Workshop, Serious Lunch, and Studio 100.

Digital creators, in the meantime, embrace ABCMouse, Aaron’s Animals, Alphabet Rockers, batteryPOP, California Academy of Sciences, GoldieBlox, The Gotham Group’s Gotham Reads, Guggenheim Museum, Howdytoons, Kids’ Black History, MEL Science + Chemistry, N*Gen, Pinkfong, Penguin Random House’s Brightly Storytime, Studio71 (Parry Gripp, Maymo, Hyper Roblox), Tankee, Ubongo Kids, Vooks, Bounce Patrol, Hevesh5, Mother Goose Club, StacyPlays, Super Simple Songs and The Whistle.

The service abides by the U.S. kids’s privateness legal guidelines (COPPA), and is licensed by the kidSAFE Seal Program.

Image Credits: Common Sense Networks

Having briefly toyed round with the cellular app, it seems Sensical works as described. If I had any complaints personally, it will solely be that the expertise may very well be dismissed as “baby stuff” by older kids approaching their tween years, because of the cute photos and youthful iconography used within the app’s design. Kids in older age teams take challenge with being handled as in the event that they’re youthful — they usually take specific discover of something that does so.

The similar criticism goes for the Live TV programming, which was clearly aimed toward littler kids after we checked it out, regardless of testing the app as a little one profile whose age was set to “10.”

I additionally assume it will be good if there have been a higher method to monitor Favorite channels and see after they’re up to date with new movies, as kids transferring to Sensical from YouTube will wish to “feel” like they’re nonetheless linked to new and contemporary content material and never a library. But Sensical isn’t YouTube. There’s a trade-off between hand-curation and timeliness, and Sensical is favoring the previous.

Sensical had been first launched this spring throughout a closed beta, however is now publicly obtainable to stream throughout internet and cellular on iOSAndroid, RokuAmazon Fire TV and Apple TV. This summer time, it’ll develop to extra distribution platforms, together with VIZIO.



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