Why we can no longer rely on YouTube, and how you can help.
TL:DR We are putting all new videos exclusively on our app. All our pre-existing videos are staying on YouTube for now. Find out more about the app.
In September 2019 YouTube settled with the FTC over allegations that they had been illegally collecting children’s data. As a consequence, YouTube has made big changes to how it serves content to kids and how kids’ creators like us can use the platform. From 1st January 2020, changes which will affect Cosmic Kids come into force.
We want to let you know what we expect to happen and what we’re doing in response, so you can make decisions about how you access Cosmic Kids content.
Since the beginning of Cosmic Kids, our goal has been to help kids discover and enjoy yoga and mindfulness.
Since 2012, we have been building a social venture which makes and shares video content which kids love and parents can trust. YouTube has been an essential tool in this. It hasn’t been perfect of course – kids might see ads and often bump into inappropriate content – but it has helped us reach millions of kids with our yoga and mindfulness videos.
It has also brought us a modest income (less than it costs to make our videos – but still a helpful contribution) – until now.
We expect our revenue on YouTube to fall by 90%.
From January 2020, we expect our revenue on YouTube to fall by 90%. This means we have to think again about how we fund Cosmic Kids and how we serve our content to kids around the world. YouTube remains a great way for us to introduce people to what we make, but with revenue declining we are essentially giving away our videos for less than they cost to make. This is obviously unsustainable.
There is one more problem. YouTube has shifted its attention around kids’ content onto its YouTube Kids App. It is building this into a business, and using our content (among others’) without paying us transparently for it. We believe YouTube is behaving unreasonably for a few reasons: (1) YouTube puts our videos on its app without our permission – that is, it doesn’t allow us to decide which of our videos appear on YouTube Kids, it just assumes that everything we upload to YouTube is available for it (2) YouTube does not reveal how much revenue (if any) we get from YouTube Kids, and (3) YouTube uses our videos to promote its YouTube Kids App. Unfortunately this is undermining us as a business. Essentially they are creating a competitor for our own business, using our content for nothing (as far as we can tell).
So – whilst we value YouTube’s power to help us find new users and to show our content to a wide audience, we can’t rely on them for revenue, and – worse – our ability to fund what we do is being undermined by YouTube’s creation of a competitor to our venture using our content. If it wasn’t so bad for us it would funny. 🙂
So – here’s what we are doing for now:
We are putting all new videos exclusively on our app. Find out more about the app.
If you value what we do and can afford to help us, please sign up to our app. If you can’t, you can still see all our older videos on YouTube (if you must…!) – plus a good chunk of our yoga adventures on Amazon Prime.
If you can help us, please sign up to the app.
Thanks for reading. We are learning more about what this change means for Cosmic Kids and will keep you posted.