Determining if your content is "made for kids"

Regardless of your location, we require you to tell us whether or not your videos are made for kids. We are making these changes according to an agreement with  the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to help you comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other applicable laws. Failure to set your content appropriately may result in consequences on YouTube or have legal consequences under COPPA and other laws.

We provide some guidance on what is considered  “made for kids” below, but we cannot provide legal advice. If you are unsure whether your videos meet this standard, we suggest you seek legal counsel. 

According to the FTC’s guidance on COPPA, a video is child directed (which we call “made for kids”) if:

  • Children are the primary audience based on the factors described below. 
  • Children are not the primary audience, but the video is still directed to children based on the factors below. (This is known under COPPA as “mixed audience” content, which is a type of child directed content. General audience content is not the same as mixed audience.)

Note: In November 2019, the FTC released more information to help YouTube creators decide if their content is “made for kids” or not. You can learn more on the FTC’s blog.

When deciding whether or not your channel or video is made for kids, you should consider various factors, including:

  • Subject matter of the video (e.g. educational content for preschoolers).
  • Whether children are your intended or actual audience for the video.
  • Whether the video includes child actors or models.
  • Whether the video includes characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children, including animated characters or cartoon figures.
  • Whether the language of the video is intended for children to understand.
  • Whether the video includes activities that appeal to children, such as play-acting, simple songs or games, or early education.
  • Whether the video includes songs, stories, or poems for children.
  • Any other information you may have to help determine your video’s audience, like empirical evidence of the video’s audience.
  • Whether the content is advertised to children. 

Just because your content may include some of these factors does not automatically mean it’s made for kids. You should carefully consider who you’re trying to reach with your videos as you evaluate your content and the factors above. See below for more information on content that is not made for kids.

Note: YouTube Analytics (YTA) is not designed to help determine if your content is child directed. You should use the factors outlined by the FTC above to set your audience.

How old is a kid? The age of a "kid" in the United States is defined as anyone under the age of 13. However, the age of a kid may be higher in other countries, so consider the factors described above as appropriate given how kid is defined in applicable laws in your country, and consult legal counsel if you have additional questions. 

General audience content

General audience content is content that could appeal to everyone, but isn’t intended specifically for children, or content that is intended for a teen or older audience. General audience content should be set as “not made for kids.”
Here are some examples of the types of videos that could be considered “general audience”, in the absence of information suggesting an intent to target kids:  
  • A DIY video teaching hobbyists how to remake dolls or to make clay figurines
  • A family vlog telling other parents about an amusement park visit 
  • A video featuring detailed instructions around creating mods or avatars
  • Animated content that appeals to everyone
  • A gaming video that features adult humor
What's the difference between general audience and mixed audience?
Mixed audience content, on the other hand, is considered a type of made for kids content. This is content that targets children as one of its audiences, even if it’s not the main or primary audience, and that qualifies as child directed after balancing the factors described above. 
How do I know if I should set my content as NOT made for kids?
According to guidance from the FTC, if your video features actors, characters, activities, games, songs, stories, or other subject matter that reflect an intent to target children, it’s likely made for kids. 

A video is not necessarily made for kids just because:

  • It’s safe or appropriate for everyone to watch (aka it’s “family friendly”)
  • It covers an activity that’s traditionally associated with children
  • Children may incidentally see it  
Remember to carefully consider who you’re trying to reach with your videos as you evaluate your content and the factors above. 
Additionally, creators outside of the United States will need to take into consideration additional obligations they may have under applicable laws when evaluating whether content is made for kids. Note, while the age of a kid in the United States is defined as anyone under the age of 13, the age of a kid is defined differently in different countries so consider the factors described above as appropriate given how "kid" is defined in relevant laws, and consult legal counsel if you have additional questions.
Note: As a creator, you know your videos and your audience best, and it is your legal responsibility to comply with COPPA and/or other applicable laws and designate your content accurately. If you fail to  categorize your content correctly, there may be consequences on YouTube. Additionally, there may be legal consequences under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) or other applicable local laws. 
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