I just don’t get it…

Entertainment Rights inks deals with YouTube, Joost and Babelgum to provide all three digital platforms with a selection of its kid/family-targeted animated content with the launch of Retro Heroes, a new free-to-view channel.  Under the deal, YouTube debuts a version of Retro Heroes that features short-form (2 and 5 minute) webisodes from ER’s library, while Joost and Babelgum will also introduce Retro Heroes, but will feature selected long-form programming.  Entertainment Rights programming featured as part of these partnerships include, He-Man, She-Ra, Trapdoor, Felix the Cat, Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Archies, Fat Albert and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis – Cyn Kids 5/7/08

Man.  When Pop Culture deems something popular, all common sense rules go out the bloomin’ window.

Last time I checked, and I’m pretty damn sure (sorry for the curse word, but I’m irritated), youtube is NOT for anyone under 13 years of age. 

So screw you practices, laws, and safety.  Entertainment transcends your silliness in order to ALWAYS reach the audience.  No pitiful U13 nonsense adheres to us.  We’re going to go ahead and show all our family friendly programing on age-sketchy platforms.  And you know what?  Why not go a step further… we’ll start putting cartoon ads on cigarette packages, downloadable stickers on age verification pages for porn, and pass out freebies underneath the football stadium stands.  Rock on, pop culture & your ability to roll over silly little safe guards!

Meh, I say… MEH!  Now, if this statement was gearing this retro-ish content towards non kids– and instead offering this info to the children of the 70’s/80’s… that makes sense.  I would definitely be geared up for some good ole Archies & She-Ra.

I’m just tired of this flippant shrug, like youtube is this all powerful force, and people don’t give a crap about the safe guards for youth.  And really– it’s not completely youtube’s fault.  They have age verification that kids lie to get around.  Parents need to start reading the privacy policies (I’m sorry, I know that sucks and the fine print is tedious, but seriously, you don’t send your kid to sleep overs without knowing the family first, do you?  Or at least having a conversation with the mom when you drop tater tot off, right?).  And businesses with agenda’s need to figure out their audience.  Are they putting their content on youtube for teen/adult fans?  Or trying to catch the wee lying tater tots and reel ’em in? 

It’s just sketchy to me to see anyone posting content in hopes of attaining kid fans on youtube.  It’s like acknowledging kids are breaking the rules and them rewarding them for it.  That’s not cool. 

Rant over.  Meh-titude sets in.  Another tally for youtube. 

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  1. May 7, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I’m definitely walking into the storm on this one…. But, what the hey? It touches on the core to our differentiation, so I’ll stick my neck out a bit.

    Children are going to YouTube, like it or not. Whether they are reaching it directly or through an embeddable link on an acceptable site. My kids are constantly coming home with yet another video they want to watch that their friends have mentioned as a got to see. My reaction is to help them find the video safely, while dodging the areas and content I deem as inappropriate. I don’t realistically expect this sort of behavior will continue forever however. Yet, I hope to instill a sense of self censoring within my kids so that they can develop their own filtering.

    So, how about creating areas within these aggregators which represent a safe haven for kid content? Areas where parents can feel secure about the content being displayed. Now the advertising that goes along with it is another matter… If YouTube were smart, they would figure out a way to make the targeted advertising more age appropriate. Plus, this would drive up their own ability for generating revenue.

    So, I guess I compare this to the cable business. I like to watch Discovery Channel channel with my kids at night. But, as part of the experience we are blessed with the Erectile Dysfunction commercials. Do we stop watching Discovery? No. It simply opens up another door for a lesson in personal filtering. My ideal of course would be a channel with the same sort of programming, but without the inappropriate noise.

    A perfect example, no. But, hopefully it illuminates some of my thinking. As content continues to shift from broadcast to the internet, so will audience. Some might argue the reverse to be true…. But, hopefully wherever there are enough eyeballs, the business will figure out a way to make their money responsibly. And, I hope YouTube (or another child friendly video aggregator wannabe) can provide the environment to do so. I’m certain there is demand for it.

    Oh no, I can hear the storm brewin’ already 🙂

  2. May 7, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    No storm from me. I think you make valid points.

    It WOULD be nice to see Youtube create a place where parents can trust that content is filtered appropriately to their youngin’s.

    But I can’t help but sigh, because businesses have opportunities to make conscious efforts to provide quality for kiddies. And instead of nodding that kids are there, and instead of going with the flippant flow, they make upstanding decisions to avoid sketchy environments for youth. Ya know… trying to stop the problem before it happens.

    But alas, it’s almost water up a cliff now. Kids are on it, parents are on it, and pop culture/the entertainment biz is on it.

    I have to say… I did a bit of a hypocrite thing today. Usually I’m the one spouting about “teaching kids to filter” and so on. Empowering kids to make those decisions by having conversations with family members.

    I dunno. There’s just something about youtube and everyone’s general “shrug” (which is hardly seen with parents & myspace in the news, ya know? Loads of peeps have been up in arms with that) about the content provided (by users and businesses) – regardless of the age barriers.

    I do think that businesses have a certain amount of responsibility for the content they provide, and if they make straight forward decisions to entertain youngin’s on platforms NOT for youngin’s… I just, I’m disappointed.

    Le sigh. I do appreciate your views though, Robert. Thanks 🙂

  3. Joi
    May 14, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Izzy – what do you recommend as a tactic, then, for companies who want to spread the word about their content, especially if it’s video? Youtube IS the largest and biggest US site for video distribution (i.e. the first place most people search to find things) You are supposed to go where the people are.

    Sorry, just playing devil’s advocate.

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