Despite all of the controversy that has surrounded it, YouTube Kids has had a big 2015. The child-friendly app, which first launched in February as a home for age-appropriate videos, has surpassed 10 million downloads and has launched in five new countries: The UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
The 10 million downloads come across iOS and Android devices, as YouTube Kids is available from both Google Play and the App Store. Users are not simply downloading the app and forgetting it, either; instead, its videos have experienced massive watch time. Specifically, YouTube noted that a 54-minute compilation of nursery rhymes, beginning with “Wheels on the Bus” and ending with “This Old Man,” has accrued more watch time than Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” It’s also set to become the next video to achieve more than one billion views.
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Clearly, YouTube Kids has been a big hit with American kids and their parents, and thanks to its latest update, families in other countries will get to experience it, too. Will foreign advocacy groups rise up against the app’s branded videos and its occasionally-inappropriate content, just as American watchdogs have? It’s too early to tell.