Innovation Snapshot
Innovator:Kidoodle
Location:Calgary, Alberta

As parents increasingly rely on tablets or phones to keep kids entertained, it can be difficult for them to constantly keep an eye on what their child is watching. While plenty of material is specifically designed for children, there’s also easily accessible content that isn’t necessarily appropriate for younger viewers.

Enter Calgary-based Kidoodle, a safe streaming platform for kids. All content is hand-picked by parents and viewed by members of the Kidoodle team, not an algorithm, to make sure that it’s age appropriate. Parents can take advantage of features like bedtimes, curfews, and screen time limits to manage how their kids use the platform and find peace-of-mind without needing to always monitor their screens.

Neil Gruninger and Mike Lowe co-founded Kidoodle in 2012, recognizing the potential in streaming-based entertainment and video distribution tailored towards kids. Lowe saw how his children were fond of being able to touch a screen and press play, but worried about the hazards that existing streaming services like YouTube posed for young children who could easily stumble upon inappropriate content.

There are now 27,000 carefully selected episodes of popular kids shows available on Kidoodle, making it the largest direct kids’ content library outside of YouTube. Parents can trust that all the content their kids are viewing has been vetted and is right for someone of their age and can use Kidoodle’s account features to decide which individual shows their kids can access. A breakdown of viewing habits also helps parents stay informed. In addition, although their free model is ad-supported, all ads go through the same rigorous vetting process as regular content with a family focus in mind.

In 2020, the company experienced rapid growth, with the total number of users increasing by over 3,000 percent over a 12-month period. Their team also grew from 20 employees to 76, supported by the move away from cable options and the change in viewing habits associated with the global pandemic.

To learn more about Kidoodle, please visit www.kidoodle.tv/ or listen to co-founder Neil Gruninger on the Shift podcast.