Children, believe it or not, aren’t *just* watching gamers like Ali-A play Fortnite on YouTube. They’re also fans of music videos. That means YouTube’s latest announcement should be of interest to the music industry: it’s adding some new features to its YouTube Kids app, which has traditionally focused on younger children. “We have launched a new experience geared toward 8-12 year olds that includes additional new content, like popular music and gaming videos,” announced YouTube yesterday. Parents can pick the ‘older’ mode when setting up the app, although for now it’s only available in the US. That’s good news for artists who are popular with younger fans, even if they’ll still have to compete for attention with all those Fortnite videos…

Meanwhile, there is also some news for YouTube’s main app for adults. It’s going to start including vertical video ads: in response partly to the fact that more than 70% of YouTube’s watch time is happening on mobile devices – even if we don’t know how much of that time is spent watching in vertical mode. “As more video gets shot vertically, we want to take advantage of the full canvas and not just have it rammed into the horizontal [layout] with black bars on the side,” YouTube’s Neal Mahon told The Drum.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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