The secret of CoComelon: How one dad's hobby turned into America's most-watched YouTube channel
A Youtube channel aimed at preschool-aged viewers has built its streaming empire on catchy nursery rhymes and colorful animations, as it now aims to launch beyond the screen into merchandise and other products.
CoComelon started out as a hobby for one Orange County, California couple fifteen years ago after they decided to make short animated videos as a way to entertain their sons.
Jay Jeon, founder of Treasure Studio, Inc. that creates CoComelon, had experience as a filmmaker and storyteller. His wife worked as a children’s book illustrator.
Together, their talents combined to produce Youtube’s most-viewed channel in the US with more than 3.5 billion views in the average month. The only YouTube channel to beat CoComelon in views is T-Series, an India-based music streaming channel.
Besides surpassing others in views, CoComelon is also the most-subscribed YouTube channel in the US with 92 million subscribers. T-Series and PewDiePie, a gamer who is based in the UK, are the only other channels to surpass it globally in subscribers.
“We never imagined our channel could grow this big, or that it could attract such a large and loyal following,” Mr Jeon said when speaking to The Independent. “We’re so amazed each month, each year, and we’re so grateful.”
The couple uploaded their first video in 2006 under the name ABCkidTV after discovering how much their children enjoyed the animated shorts.
“Our kids’ reaction gave us the confidence to keep going, and so we pursued it as a hobby,” Mr Jeon said.
Later, the company changed to CoComelon because the original name felt “limiting” on YouTube. CoComelon, to the founders, felt “universal and fun for children”, so the name was changed and popularity grew.
“We’ve tried to create characters that are adorable, likeable and universally relatable. We began to think of JJ, YoYo, and TomTom as our imaginary kids, and over time, we built a family around them -- parents, grandparents, animal friends, school classmates,” Mr Jeon said. “And we think a lot about our audience and what they’re going through: growing up, daily challenges, learning new things. Life! We hope they share experiences similar to those of our characters.”
As the channel’s viewership has grown, the founders paid attention to what resonated with their audience. They also took on timely topics like the coronavirus pandemic to create teachable videos like how a child should wash their hands.
“The CoComelon tagline is ‘Be happy and smart,’” Mr Jeon said. “As content creators, we’ve always tried to keep our stories relevant to our audience, and we’ve created some themed videos -- including a washing hands video as well as videos more centered around activities that can be done at home."
The formula has worked, as CoComelon makes an estimated $120m each year through its animated shorts, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But YouTube advertisement’s alone can’t give a brand lasting success. That success requires expansion in the form of merchandise, live events, albums, and themed parks.
Enter Moonbug, a global entertainment company that has raised more than $250m to purchase kid channels that focus on engaging children with teachable content. The company recently acquired CoComelon for an undisclosed amount.
“CoComelon has the potential to be the biggest property in the world when it comes to kids,” Rene Rechtman, Moonbug’s chief executive officer, told Bloomberg. “In terms of viewership, it is.”
He called the CoComelon the next “Peppa Pig“, a British preschool animated series that has become so popular that Hasbro paid $3.8bn to acquire the franchise in 2019 from Entertainment One. Peppa Pig now involves merchandise and even has its own theme park.
“Our goal is to create toys and other products that extend the positive CoComelon experience beyond the screen, helping to make kids happy and giving the whole family great ways to play, imagine and have fun together,” Mr Jeon said about the upcoming opportunities for the brand.
“With everything we do, we want families all across the globe to look to CoComelon as a supporting partner to them as parents and in their kids’ learning and growing,” he added.
Mr Jeon and his wife, whose identity remains anonymous, have stayed mostly out of the public eye while building YouTube’s top children’s channel. Instead of being publicly outspoken, they’ve let their channel speak for itself by creating videos to stick to the brand’s DNA.
“We prefer to let the content we create speak for itself,” Mr Jeon said. “The most important thing for us has always been making videos, stories and characters that resonate strongly with our audiences. It’s not about us, it’s about serving them.”
That DNA includes making sure each video is original, genuine, and provides enriching educational content that parents will want to play for their children.
“We’re so focused day-to-day on the quality of our content and ensuring its enriching for our audience, it’s become a key part of the company’s DNA,” Mr Jeon added.
Moonbug is wasting no time with its newly acquired brand, as it was now anticipated a toy line could drop in the coming weeks of popular CoComelon characters.
Youtube Terminates Cocomelon Rival Super Jojo Channel With 22 Million Subscribers
“Super Jojo shamelessly freerides on Cocomelon’s success by closely copying and exploiting every possible element of the Cocomelon channel,” Moonbug said in its complaint. “Even Cocomelon fans remark with amazement how pervasively ‘Super Jojo rips off CoComelon!! Sometimes even frame by frame!'” (The entire complaint, which includes details on how Superjojo tried to evade YouTube’s copyright policies, can be viewed here.)
Babybus (Fujian) Network Technology Company, the Chinese company behind Super Jojo, reported revenue in excess of $100 million last year, according to Cocomelon’s complaint. The largest part of its income is derived from online advertising on platforms like the Google-owned Youtube. Babybus announced in July that it was planning to list as a public company in Hong Kong with the goal of raising $285.8 million.
In addition to its ownership of Cocomelon, Moonbug also operates numerous other leading Youtube channels for children’s content including Little Baby Bum, My Magic Pet Morphle, and Blippi.
News of Cocomelon’s legal action against Super Jojo was first reported by Law360.com.
A Parent’s Guide To CoComelon
All About Kids
- by Jana Blanco
- February 16, 2021
Wondering if you should let your toddlers watch CoComelon? Here’s what you need to know…
For busy parents, sitting their toddler in front of a screen and letting them watch CoComelon is all kinds of awesome. After all, it buys them a few minutes of sanity — a break from a crazy day at work or even just to let you wash the dishes.
You might frown at the thought, but this precious screen time means a lot to parents who just need a few minutes of peace. Every toddler’s new favorite? Move over, Baby Shark — CoComelon is in the house. To us parents, it looks creepy as hell but to kids under five, it’s a colorful world that they can’t get enough of.
Wondering why kids are obsessing over with CoComelon? So are we. Here’s what we know about CoComelon…
What parents should know about CoComelon
Who is CoComelon?
If you’re like us and thought that the creepy baby with buggy eyes was CoComelon, you’re wrong. CoComelon is the YouTube channel that makes the creepy baby (his name is JJ by the way) your kids are obsessed with. The channel is the most subscribed children’s channel in the world!
What is it?
Each episode is one hour long and features realistic 3D animation accompanied by 20 repetitive tunes. Some of the songs are your classic nursery rhymes while others are CoComelon originals.
The episodes show baby J.J. doing all things toddlers love to do like cuddle with mom, napping and learning things at preschool.
Why do kids love it?
Toddlers, babies and kids love CoComelon for all the same reasons we don’t — bright colors that make us wince and songs that get stuck in our head for days. It’s kind of like us obsessing over Emily In Paris or BTS. Just watch an episode and you’ll get why the show is mesmerizing for the little ones: characters have gigantic eyes and heads and the colors are super bright with lots of contrast.
Why can’t we get those songs out of our head?
Because they’re so darn repetitive! Kids love patterns, routine and repetition which is why they love the consistency CoComelon provides.
Should we let our babies and toddlers watch CoComelon?
“I think it’s cute that my son can relate to the main character, JJ,” says Marriane, a mom of two. Yup, just like your toddler, he goes to nursery with his friends. He also loves being with his family, going around town and singing songs.
And there are lessons to be learned too. “Although it gets annoying for parents after a while, I like that it teaches good stuff. It teaches a lot, actually. Inclusivity, sign language and gestures, and openness about different careers, you’d be surprised.” new dad Ping says.
But what about screen time?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screen time for children under 2 should be limited to one hour a day or less and that parents should watch alongside their child.
But here’s the thing: if you NEED to put on a show to get things done, why not. Be mindful of how much screen time your child is getting and try to be involved as much as possible. As with all things, balance is always key. And if you catch yourself singing the Bath Song when you shower, that’s all you.
I’m Giving My Kids Extra Screen Time Now and I’m OK With It
18 Life Hacks for Parenting Non-Schooling Toddlers
Who Owns Cocomelon & How Much Are They Worth?
Cocomelon is the most-watched YouTube channel in the U.S. and it's taking over the world. But even with a new Netflix show, its founder is an enigma.
The name Cocomelon may not sound as familiar as the latest Netflix hit or the trendiest YouTube channel, but the brand is a juggernaut of children's programming. The mysterious Treasure Studio is listed as the creative force behind one of the most-watched pieces of media content in the world, but little is known about the company. Jay Jeon, the founder, is a man whose life is shrouded in mystery despite holding one of the most successful entertainment properties in the world.
On the basis of viewership numbers, Cocomelon has an incredible pedigree of accomplishments. It's the second most-watched and second-biggest YouTube channel in the world after the Indian record label T-Series, meaning it takes the number one spot in the United States for both categories. Cocomelon also has the honor of being one of the only three channels with more than 100 million subscribers, amassing over 100 billion views so far. A TV version of the show also debuted on Netflix in June 2020 and has remained a staple of the streaming service's Top Ten lineup since August 2020, beating everything from The Queen's Gambit to The Office to become the most-watched program on the platform last year.
Related: All 11 Animated Disney Movies Releasing After Luca
Despite all these record-breaking numbers, the origins and background of Cocomelon are an enigma. It was only very recently, in February 2020, that Bloomberg Businessweek discovered that one Jay Jeon and his so far unidentified wife, who is a children's book illustrator, were the driving forces behind the programming and its animation company Treasure Studio. Even now, the couple, who reside in Orange County, California, prefer to remain in the shadows and out of the public eye, quietly cranking out content with an anonymous 20-person team, according to Cocomelon's website.
Jeon himself is far from new to the children's entertainment scene. The YouTube channel started all the way back in 2006 under the name ThatsMEonTV as a hobby with his wife. He claims that his children had an enthusiastic reaction to the animated shorts and wanted to spread the positivity publically. Treasure Studio changed the name toABCkidTV in 2013, then rebranded the channel again as Cocomelon in 2018, which coincided with massive growth in viewers and subscribers.
But Jeon's low profile doesn't reflect his brand's public face at all. Last summer, British media company Moonbug Entertainment purchased Cocomelon for an undisclosed amount of money and plans on capitalizing on its massive success. That means Cocomelon's estimated yearly $120 million dollars in earnings is going to get even bigger. Already, toy trucks and plushies are available to purchase, and the nursery rhymes and children's songs at the center of the programming are on music services like Spotify and Apple Music.
Rene Rechtman, CEO of Moonbug, is less shy than Jeon and has voiced his efforts to focus on children's media with the acquisitions of Blippi and Little Baby Bum alongside Cocomelon. The entire venture saw Moonbug raise an estimated $120 million dollars, but considering that's roughly the same amount that Cocomelon earns in a single year, Rechtman and his company will make their money back in spades. Now that Moonbug is turning what started off as a modest YouTube channel into a bona fide brand, Cocomelon is poised to take over the world. The animated musical program has become a titan-sized property for toddlers.
Next: The Live-Action Dora The Explorer Movie's Biggest Changes To The Kid's Cartoon
Hawkeye Trailer: Clint Barton Turns Into A Comedic SuperheroAbout The Author
Andrew is a contributing features writer for Screen Rant Horror, as well as for Comic Book Resources. He enjoys trying to see what social commentary he can mine out of the latest horror films, as well as checking up on what's going on in the life of Spider-Man. He also plays bass guitar to exorcise his negative emotions, like the good Mr. Rodgers says you should.
On youtube cocomelon
American YouTube channel
|Genre||Education, nursery rhymes|
|Total views||110 billion|
Updated: October 11, 2021
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||2020 (2020) –|
Cocomelon, formerly known as ThatsMEonTV (2006–2013) and ABC Kid TV (2013–2018), is an American YouTube channel and streaming media show acquired by the UK company Moonbug Entertainment and maintained by the American company Treasure Studio. Cocomelon specializes in 3D animation videos of both traditional nursery rhymes and their own original children's songs. As of July 2021[update], they are the most-viewed YouTube channel in the United States and second most-viewed channel in the world. They are also the most-subscribed children's channel in the world and the second most-subscribed channel in the world.
Cocomelon's videos include children, adults, and animals who interact with each other in daily life. The lyrics appear at the bottom of the screen in the same way on all displays. In 2020, Treasure Studio added Cocomelon content to Netflix, Roku, and Hulu. The company also delivers music through popular streaming services. YouTube content consists of standalone music videos, compilations, and livestreams.
On September 1, 2006, Cocomelon was created on YouTube to provide viewers with free education. Then known as ThatsMEonTV, the channel uploaded two versions of the alphabet song to YouTube on their first day. The channel uploaded their third video 9 months later, titled "Learning ABC Alphabet – Letter "K" — Kangaroo Game". Most videos on the channel taught the alphabet with a typical length of between one and two minutes.
ABC Kid TV
In 2013, the ABC Kid TV era introduced a new intro and logo. The logo showed a TV with a ladybug on the upper left corner. The channel began remastering older videos followed by a transition from alphabet videos to nursery rhymes and longer video lengths. Within a few years the channel introduced computer animation, with their first 3D character being used in Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on April 8, 2016. The video featured a 3D flying star guiding 2D characters through the sky. Towards the end of 2016, 3D animation video uploads became more frequent and longer, with some videos using motion capture technology. Animation and music production continued to modernize, and a recurring cast of characters formed, with J. J., TomTom, YoYo and many others.
In Summer 2018, the company rebranded again to Cocomelon, introducing a new intro and outro to all their videos. They also added the present-day logo of a watermelon stylized to resemble a traditional box TV, while retaining the ladybug as part of the opening and closing sequences.
In April 2019, The Wall Street Journal estimated Cocomelon's yearly ad revenue at $120 million. In late 2020, Cocomelon added content in Spanish and Portuguese. Early in 2021, they also added Mandarin Chinese, German, and Arabic.
In February 2020, the company's chief executive announced plans to introduce toys based on these characters, and has mentioned the possibility of a feature-length film. The toys are expected to include plush dolls and toy vehicles, with an anticipated rollout date in the fall of 2020. Shipment of some toys was later announced for August. In December, the company began selling apparel through their website directly.
Rise in popularity
After nine years on YouTube, Cocomelon reached 1 million subscribers on May 16, 2016. Half a month later, the channel reached one billion total views. The following two years continued to grow with nearly 400,000 subscribers per month to ten million subscribers, and the channel reached seven billion total views. They started increasing rapidly with the release of "Yes Yes" Bedtime Song, a video in which YoYo has to use stuffed animals to get JJ to prepare for bed, which was released in July 2017 and became their most viewed video, currently over 1 billion views.
Cocomelon had the second largest YouTube channel subscriptions gain in 2019 with an increase of over 36 million, ending the year on 67.4 million in channel subscriptions. In 2018, YouTube's algorithm recommended Cocomelon's video "Bath Song + More Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs" 650 times "among the 696,468 suggestions that Pew Research Center tracked" making it the most recommended video on YouTube. As of September 2020, that video has received over 3.2 billion views on YouTube, making it the 19th-most viewed video on the site. In addition, their second most popular video, "Yes Yes Vegetables Song", has received over 2.5 billion views, making it the 36th-most viewed video on the site.
Between May and June 2019, Cocomelon received 2.5 billion total views, averaging 83 million daily viewers. Comparatively, the "major four TV broadcast networks averaged just 13 million viewers daily during the TV season". In July 2019, YouTube changed its algorithm after the Federal Trade Commission raised concerns over child safety. Several children's channels were affected, including Cocomelon, which "dropped from 575 million total views the week before the change, to 436 million the week of, to 307 million the week after, and 282 million the week after that".
On December 12, 2020, Cocomelon became the third YouTube channel in the world to get 100 million subscribers.
Cocomelon's videos also achieved popularity outside YouTube; in September 2020 Netflix ranked Cocomelon as its third most popular show.
Cocomelon was ranked #1 on Reelgood's list of Netflix shows for 2020, ahead of The Office and The Queen's Gambit.
It was predicted Cocomelon would surpass PewDiePie at some point in April-May 2021, becoming the second-most subscribed YouTube channel. In response to this, PewDiePie released "Coco," a diss track targeted at Cocomelon on February 14, 2021. The video was removed from YouTube shortly after its upload, for violating YouTube's harassment and cyberbullying policy. Two months later, on April 25, 2021, Cocomelon surpassed PewDiePie as predicted. The song remains on major streaming platforms.
CocoMelon currently airs on Universal Kids, an American pay television channel owned by the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming division of Comcast's NBCUniversal through NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. On April 4, 2021, CocoMelon premiered on Cartoonito in the United Kingdom.
Cocomelon Currently Airs on SAB TV Pakistan an Newly Launched Mainstream TV Channel Owned by: SAB Media Pvt Ltd Through Cable TV On 29 March 2021 Premiered on SAB TV Pakistan
Cocomelon's website has described the company as having 20 employees. When The Wall Street Journal attempted to find out who creates Cocomelon videos, they were unable to contact Treasure Studio, which owns the channel.Wired magazine located a couple in Irvine who seemed to have some ties with Treasure Studio but was unable to confirm that they owned the channel. In February 2020, Bloomberg Businessweek identified a couple from Orange County, California as the owners of Treasure Studio and Cocomelon.
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- ^"Kids round-up: Super RTL inks Moonbug deal; Zigazoo gains $4m capital funding; TVOkids makes BGM double order". TBI Vision. April 23, 2021.
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- ^"Merch". cocomelon.com. Retrieved Sep 2, 2020.
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- ^"Shop". Cocomelon.
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- ^Bean, Travis. "This Children's Program Has Been Quietly Dominating Netflix This Summer". Forbes.
- ^Schneider, Michael (December 15, 2020). "Netflix End-of-Year Ranker: 'Cocomelon,' 'The Office,' 'The Queens Gambit' Top 2020 List".
- ^Koepp, Brent. "What is Cocomelon? The YouTube channel on track to pass PewDiePie". Retrieved February 14, 2021.
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YouTube is overhauling its kids content following years of controversy and a $170mn fine from the FTC. Yet, it remains a mystery as to who owns the largest kids channel (Cocomelon) on YouTube. Why?
UPDATE: According to this Bloomberg article that came out the same week I published this, Cocomelon is owned by an Asian couple in California.
In the 2010 movie Inception, Leonardo Dicaprio plays a corporate spy who is able to insert ideas into a person’s subconscious through a process called — drumroll — “inception”.
His character, Cobb, famously describes the power of an idea:
“Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.”
As the father of a toddler, my brain has been incepted by something equally sticky and impossible to eradicate: Cocomelon YouTube videos.
GIF of a popular Cocomelon nursery rhyme video (Gyfcat)
For the uninitiated, Cocomelon is an animation studio that creates extremely catchy nursery rhyme videos targeted at children. And based on the fact that Cocomelon is the world’s third most-subscribed to YouTube channel (72.3mn subs) with more than 50 billion views across ~500 videos, I suspect millions of other parents (and children) have also been incepted.
Despite these staggering engagement numbers — and an estimated ad revenue that could exceed $100mn a year — no one knows for sure who owns Cocomelon.
This anonymity is particularly perplexing in light of Google’s recent $170mn settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating a children’s privacy law.
How could the largest kid’s YouTube channel not have a clear beneficial owner?
This article is my attempt to find out.
Kids content helps to drive YouTube’s $15 billion business…
During its latest earnings release in early February, Google revealed revenue figures for YouTube for the first time. The video streaming business generated $15 billion in ad revenue on an annualized basis, accounting for ~10% of Google’s total revenue.
In many ways, YouTube’s revenue figure is much less impressive or consequential than other key statistics for platform:
- It is the world’s second largest search engine and second most visited site after Google.
- It is the 2nd most popular social media platform (after Facebook) with 1.9bn users.
- 400 hours of video are uploaded to the platform every minute.
- People watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day, more than Netflix and Facebook video combined.
While Google did not provide more granular details on its YouTube numbers, a 2018 survey by Pew Research suggests that kid’s content plays a significant role on the platform.
Pew found that 81% of parents let their children 11 years old or younger watch videos on YouTube. Further, in a content analysis of more than 340,000 YouTube video recommendations, kids content made up 22% of the top 50 most-recommended videos by type (behind only music videos, 28%).
Content analysis of the top 50 most recommended YouTube videos across 340,000 recommendations (Pew Research, 2018)
…but is not even meant to be on the platform
What’s notable about the kids content statistics on YouTube is that Google itself has stated that the video platform is not for children under the age of 13.
The search giant’s aforementioned $170mn settlement with the FTC was related to the company’s violation of the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) law, which required parental consent for collection of data for children under 13.
For years, YouTube illegally collected children’s data and served them personalized ads. Ads often directed at young children without the cognitive faculties to understand what they were viewing.
The settlement also requires that, as of January 2020, YouTube creators have to identity content made for kids. Such “kids” content will no longer feature personalized ads, comments, live chat, notification bell, stories, save to playlist, autoplay on home, channel memberships and more.
Without personalized ads, Hank Green — the popular author and YouTube creator of educational content — estimates that revenue for kids content creators may drop by more than 50%.
He further explains that the settlement will “almost certainly means fewer Kids content creators, but hopefully the ones who will stop existing are the ones making the more vacuous stuff that only distracts.”
Compared to a show like Sesame Street — which staffs PhD experts in child development — kids content on YouTube is often created with little thought to a child’s cognitive needs and, rather, is intended to game the YouTube algorithm.
When Green highlights “vacuous stuff”, he is likely referring to the proliferation of low-production and repetitive content such as toy unboxings, egg surprises and ML-generated (often disturbing) cartoon videos with little educational value.
While YouTube’s new policy changes are a step in the right direction, it is yet to be seen if the quality of kid’s content will actually improve.
The Owner Of YouTube’s Biggest Kids Content Creator (Cocomelon) Is A Mystery
To be sure, the ultimate responsibility for policing a child’s media diet falls onto the parents.
However, just as it was unrealistic a generation ago to expect a child to never see a TV, the reality is that today’s children are surrounded by shared mobile devices.
These smartphones and tablets are one-click away from YouTube “kids” content that Professor David Carroll (Parsons School) believes would be “rated R, MA, parental discretion advised” by traditional self-regulatory ratings systems like the film industry.
In 2015, YouTube created a dedicated YouTube Kids app but according to Bloomberg, “its audience is tiny compared to the full site.”
The table below identifies kids-oriented content (in red) among the top 50 most-subscribed to channels on the main YouTube site.
It suggests that kids content is still very much a part of the offering.
And Cocomelon, with more than 72 million subscribers, is by far the largest player in the space.
Who owns Cocomelon?
An investigation by the Wall Street Journal in April 2019 was able to attribute that Irvine,CA-based Cocomelon was a subsidiary of Treasure Studio Inc., a detail that cursory web browsing will uncover.
The WSJ was unable to ascertain any other ownership information.
Per the Journal, anonymity on the Google video service is a feature not a bug: “YouTube doesn’t require content providers to identify themselves, and many don’t provide clues beyond the country where they are located. Even then, it isn’t clear whether the information is accurate.”
Using this report as a jumpoff, I set out to dig deeper into Cocomelon’s background.
Is Cocomelon Part Of An AT&T-owned Media Network?
I started my research into Cocomelon on Wikipedia.
Strangely, Cocomelon studio did not have a Wikipedia entry for basically the final four months of 2019.
This piqued my interest because earlier in that year, all eyes in digital media were focused on the race to 100 million subscribers between the only two channels that are now more popular than Cocomelon – T-Series and Pewdiepie.
The disconnect between Cocomelon’s seeming popularity and its light media coverage (including who is its owner) led me to uncover the following timeline:
- September 2006: Early iteration of Cocomelon (named That’s Me On TV) releases 2D children’s education videos (but posts sporadically over the next few years).
- January 2011: After 5+ years as a Google / YouTube partnership executive, George Strompolos founds Fullscreen Media, a social content and creative agency that works with YouTube stars.
- April 2013: Cocomelon’s Facebook page is created under the name abckidtv (“ABC Kids TV”), and the company begins to focus on nursery rhyme videos.
- September 2014: Otter Media (an AT&T and Chernin Group media venture) acquires Fullscreen Media which, at the time, worked with more than 50,000 content creators who engaged 450 million subscribers and generated 4 billion monthly views.
- June 15, 2018: After winning a Federal antitrust case, AT&T completes its acquisition of the media conglomerate Time Warner.
- August 7, 2018: AT&T acquires full ownership of Otter Media (including Fullscreen media) for $1 billion.
- August 17, 2018: The Cocomelon Facebook page announces a name change.
- August 17, 2018: Twitter spike of Cocomelon-related content.
- From 01-01-2006 to 08-16-2018, there are zero Tweets under the search term “Cocomelon youtube”; Twitter search results for “ABC Kids tv YouTube”, “Abckidstv YouTube” and “ABC KidsTV YouTube” go to dead links or unrelated content.
- On 08-17-2018, there are 100+ Tweets related to “Cocomelon youtube”, all of which take the format of either “I like [Cocomelon video]” or “I added [Cocomelon video] to my list” in various languages and all link to the Cocomelon YouTube library (most of these accounts have less than 100 followers).
- About the same number of “Cocomelon youtube” Tweets occur on the next day (08-18-2018) and has pretty much not stopped (albeit in a slightly different format and alongside more organic content)
- September 2nd, 2018: Cocomelon is added to the “most subscribed YouTube Channel” Wikipedia page for the first time, with Fullscreen Media as the corresponding media network.
When Cocomelon was added to Wikipedia, the channel had 18 million subscribers; since then, the subscriber count has quadrupled.
Neither Fullscreen Media, Otter Media or AT&T has made a public comment regarding Cocomelon.
Since its name change to Cocomelon, the YouTube channel has seen explosive subscriber growth (Social Blade)
So, Where Does That Leave Us?
AT&T’s acquisition of Otter Media two months after it won its antitrust case provides one plausible theory for why none of the involved parties have publicly stated a connection to Cocomelon.
According to a trial brief for the antitrust case concerning AT&T’s merger with Time Warner, one position that the telecom provider took was that of David vs. the digital tech Goliaths.
According to AT&T, firms like Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook “are now dominating the industry,” and that AT&T and Time Warner “are merging, frankly, to try to keep up,”
It was in AT&T’s interest to downplay the portfolio of media assets the firm would have following a Time Warner merger. The sensitive nature of Cocomelon’s offering was probably also not a topic worth shining more light on.
Based on all of this information, we are left with the following questions:
- Does Fullscreen Media own Cocomelon?
- If not, is Fullscreen Media aware that the only Wikipedia entry for Cocomelon connects the two?
- If Fullscreen Media (or Otter Media, and consequently AT&T) does own Cocomelon, how come there has been zero press coverage or explicit acknowledgement?
- Is it a complete coincidence that Cocomelon changed its name and saw its social presence spike (with what look like Twitter bots) within 10 days of AT&T’s full ownership acquisition of Otter Media (and Fullscreen Media)?
- If none of the aforementioned firms own Cocomelon, who does? And why is this ownership such a mystery?
- Does YouTube know the beneficial owner of Cocomelon?
To be clear, none of this is to say Cocomelon itself is actually doing anything wrong.
The videos are unobjectionable and — other than the fact that I can’t eradicate the nursery rhymes from my head — the content seems fine.
I’m also not a child development expert and Cocomelon’s status as a leading kid’s content creator with little information on its background seems odd.
A generation ago, Mr. Rogers famously had to testify before the senate to secure funding for his educational TV show.
Today, no one knows who owns the most prolific creator of children’s content on the world’s largest video streaming platform.
From Google’s end, allowing anonymity for Cocomelon (or any other kids content creator) seems inconsistent with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s statement that “responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and nothing is more important than protecting [kids].”
Whether or not AT&T owns Cocomelon, there’s an uncontroversial point to be made: ensuring quality kid’s content and children’s privacy surely includes knowing who the platforms content creators are.
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It’s Official: More Seasons Of CoCoMelon Are Coming To Netflix
Toddlers around the world who love to sing along with nursery rhymes can rest easy, because Netflix has more CoComelon on the way. The streaming giant just ordered more seasons of the new CoComelon series based on the massively popular YouTube channel, so little ones have plenty more repetitive nursery rhymes to sing along with for the foreseeable future.
Netflix announced this week it had ordered three more seasons of CoComelon, as well as four specials of the series’ narrative spinoff CoComelon Lane, which follows little JJ getting into mild adventures with his family and friends as they sing fun songs together. CoComelon Lane will see the beloved characters from the 7-minute long CoComelon videos getting actual stories to go along with their songs. There will also be four one-hour song compilation episodes on Netflix featuring the characters singing popular nursery rhymes on repeat.
CoComelon has proven to be a hit with toddlers and their families all over the world, featuring in Netflix’s Top 10 streaming shows in 29 countries, according to ComicBook.com. The original CoComelon YouTube series sees an average of 2 billion visitors every month and has 115 million subscribers.
“With so many options available to kids and families, the popularity of Moonbug’s series on Netflix speaks volumes,” René Rechtman, co-founder of CoComelon production company Moonbug, said in a statement on July 13. “With original shows to fan-favorites like CoComelon and Little Baby Bum leading the charge, we want to give viewers even more opportunities to connect through their favorite characters, stories and nursery rhymes.”
‘CoComelon’ gets more seasons.
What is it about CoComelon that holds the attention of toddlers and babies so easily? "Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers find these programs attractive because they provide a multi-sensory experience that is engaging without being overwhelming," Nicole Buerkens, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, explained to Romper. "Young children are drawn to the bright visuals — especially the focus on big eyes and faces — the repetitive music and sounds, and the constant movement and action on the screen."
New seasons of CoComelon and CoComelon Lane will begin in 2022, with no specific release date set as yet. For now, toddlers can watch episodes on repeat since, let’s face it, that’s what they love to do anyhow.