Introducing Spotify Kids
I’ve been a champion of kids in technology for many years and even created my own device (G-mee) that is family friendly, to allow even more people in the family to enjoy smart technology.
Spotify, the world’s largest independent music service, has just pressed play on their Spotify kids service for Australian customers.
For many parents the ability to hand their kids a smart device and have them use some safe content that will keep them entertained for 20 minutes or so is a godsend. There’s lots of kids focused apps available to be loaded onto smart devices. Some are safer than others. ABC for kids, is a popular one, and there is a countless list of games, there is also Youtube Kids.
Spotify have taken all of the music in their catalogue, thrown into our brand-new application and then removed any content that is not guaranteed ‘Kid Friendly’. The new application is split by age group so there is a content solution for young kids and one for older kids. The younger kids (3 to 5) are shown content based on images and the older kids (5 to 12) solution includes more use of words and sentences.
The content for younger kids is more focused around singalongs and nursery rhymes and the older kids are presented content or focus on chart music, pop and music to listen to at bedtime.
The app has lots of helpful parental settings, but most of all there is no content in the app that includes explicit content. So should a song feature lyrics that talk about sexual references, rest assured it won’t be in the kids app. Spotify won’t be cleaning up songs themselves, so if a song with explicit language does not have a published clean version, it won’t be included in the kids service.
Many people with kids allow them to use the YouTube kids app. This service uses AI to program and check the content ensuring it safe for child consumption. Unfortunately, there have been plenty of examples where this service has missed the mark. To combat the challenges of only appropriate content being shown to kids, Spotify engages human editors to check all the content in the kids app.
Spotify has held back the release of Spotify kids for the Australian market to ensure that the service includes curated playlists by Australian editors. These playlists are shown to Australian customers, and include Australian contemporary artists like Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian and 5SOS.
Spotify stressed that this launch of Spotify kids is the start of the service. Spotify kids is in Beta, will launch with around 7000 songs and 130 playlists. The goal is to grow this container of content over time.
To activate Spotify kids the user will need to subscribe to Spotify premium family service. Once your service is active you can download the dedicated Spotify kids app and login to begin the process of activating the service.
The best thing about Spotify for kids is that parents can now give their children an application that delivers audio entertainment, in a format that they can easily navigate. The Spotify app is fantastic, but while watching a five-year-old try and use it, there was a clear need for a specific interface that was kid friendly. Spotify are now offering that.