The Edutainment Movement – What Makes Children’s YouTube Videos So Popular?
In recent years, animated YouTube videos for children have taken the world by storm. The likes of Cocomelon and Little Baby Bum are hugely popular with children and parents alike – but what is it about these types of educational entertainment, or ‘Edutainment’, that makes them so appealing?
Cocomelon, formerly ThatsMEonTV and later ABC Kid TV, is an American YouTube channel featuring 3D animated videos. The videos include both traditional nursery rhymes as well as their own original children’s songs, which follow a JJ and his family.
Ranging from a few minutes long, to hour-long compilations, their videos include well known nursery rhymes which are instantly recognisable, along with Cocomelon’s own adaptations by using traditional nursery rhyme melodies with new lyrics.
Their original songs include ‘No No Bedtime’ and the ‘Yes Yes Vegetables’ song. Cocomelon’s videos show how JJ and his family navigate the ups and downs of being a child, learning, exploring, and enjoying the world around them.
Since its creation in 2006, Cocomelon has seen its popularity skyrocket. With 113million YouTube subscribers, and 103.2billion video views to date, the channel is the most-subscribed children’s channel on YouTube, and the second most subscribed YouTube channel in the world.
Little Baby Bum
Another hugely popular children’s YouTube channel is Little Baby Bum. Owned by the same company as Cocomelon, Moonbug Entertainment acquired Little Baby Bum in 2018.
Their videos are similar in style and content to Cocomleon, featuring 3D animated videos of traditional nursery rhymes and original children’s songs. They were originally created to support children’s linguistic development by using songs and repetition.
Little Baby Bum’s 54 minute compilation video of Wheels On The Bus | Plus Lots More Nursery Rhymes has had 2.3billion views and was YouTube’s 39th most viewed video of all time, and was the first non-music video to reach 1billion views on YouTube.
Though the company is far behind Cocomelon in numbers of subscribers and views, they still boast impressive figures, with 36.3million YouTube subscribers and 32.9billion video views.
What makes these children’s YouTube channels so successful?
Much of Cocomelon and Little Baby Bum’s success is that they teach valuable life lessons and educate through entertainment – or Edutainment. The videos also reinforce the good behaviour and values that parents want their kids to learn.
Children love the videos for the entertainment factor. They have great appeal to children for several reasons:
· Bright and bold colours
· Eye-catching and engaging animations
· Amusing and unique characters (both human and anthropomorphic)
· Light-hearted, catchy, and funny songs which are easy to sing along to
As well as being enjoyable to watch, the songs encourage interaction and viewer engagement by including lyrics on the videos for kids to sing along to. This not only allows them to get involved but helps support literacy skills and development from an early age.
Cocomelon and Little Baby Bum’s videos often include daily scenarios which parents may struggle with – getting children to eat healthily, be active, brush teeth, go to school, and bedtime. The videos help to encourage good behaviour in these situations, so parents favour them for supporting these often challenging daily activities.
Having an educational element to these forms of entertainment is hugely important when it comes to what parents are choosing to let their kids watch. When parents are reassured that their children will be entertained, whilst learning new skills and being taught good values, it makes them more likely to become regular viewers of these videos.
Look out for Melissa's latest articles on Anita Frost's author website, where she'll talk about topics including business and publishing, author news and events, and giving back to communities. You can find her in-depth monthly feature on the News & Media page of the Green Bean Collection website, discussing children's books and reading, early years education, living a greener lifestyle and all things Green Bean!
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Melissa Brannlund is the features writer and editor, for author Anita Frost.
Look out for Melissa's latest articles on Anita Frost's author website, where she'll talk about topics including business and publishing, author news and events, and giving back to communities.
You can find her in-depth monthly feature on the News & Media page of the Green Bean Collection website, discussing children's books, reading, and all things Green Bean! For more information or any queries, please contact Melissa by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.