SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – The ubiquitous use of smartphones has given rise to a new generation of kindergarten and elementary school children picking up the devices at an early age to discover the world they have yet to see.
This emerging trend has brought about new children’s TV shows that are being introduced online, largely on Google’s YouTube, through which young “creators” upload video content introducing the latest toys, games, and education programs targeting audiences in their own age group.
Three such content creators were invited on Monday to an open forum hosted by YouTube Korea, at Google’s Campus Seoul.
Lime Tube is a YouTube channel that now has over 400,000 subscribers.
It started off with five-year-old Gil La-im presenting toys, drawing pictures, and studying numbers and the alphabet, all filmed and edited by her father, Gil Gi-hong. Upon gaining unprecedented popularity, however, Gil decided to hire three outside crews to start his own production company.
“If my daughter is having fun while filming, I believe that video will also bring a similar sense of joy to the audience,” he said. “The key is affinity and dreams, and my goal is to relay a positive influence to children.”
MariAndFriends, created by 37-year-old Kook Dong-won and his wife, features their nephews and nieces, and boasts over 350,000 subscribers.
Kook’s channel focuses on game reviews and children’s recreational activities, mostly filmed at private homes. And although he only has one employee who edits the videos, he said his earnings are similar to those of an employee at a big-name corporation.
“Our nephews and nieces are busy on weekdays, so all our filming takes place on weekends,” Mr. Kook said. “Over time, they’ve learn to speak more logically, and to be considerate to others.”
Mylynn TV was launched last year, after its 10-year-old host Choi Lynn, who had been interested in YouTube content, attended a training event for online content creators.
In the videos, the young host interviews some of Korea’s most popular youth creators, while at the same time introducing various games and entertainment activities for the young. The filming and editing process is done at home with help from his parents.
“When we took off last year, we said to ourselves ‘let’s give it ten years’,” said Choi’s mother Lee Ju-young. “We wanted to show different content that reflects our son’s age, as he grew older. We’re collaborating with other creators, with an aim to establish a ‘children’s broadcasting station’.”
According to Google, the average viewing time of local children’s content on YouTube jumped more than threefold (as of this summer) compared to the same period last year. The number of children and parents seeking to become YouTube creators is also increasing rapidly.
In response to concerns that videos introducing new toys can lead to over-commercialization of the content, Mr. Gil said, “I’ve seen many busy parents who buy their kids new toys, without spending time playing with the toys. So I put extra effort into the toy reviews.”
“Given the fact that the videos show ways for all family members to have fun together using the gadgets, there are positive aspects of the reviews.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)