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Common Sense Networks launches Sensical, a free, hand-curated streaming service for kids – TechCrunch

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Common Sense Media has made a name among parents a valuable resource for vetting entertainment and technology in terms of its age-appropriateness. Now, the organization’s for-profit affiliate, Common Sense Networks, is taking inspiration from those kid-friendly recommendations with the launch of a new streaming service called Sensical. The service offers age-appropriate, entertaining, and educational videos for children ages 2 through 10.

At launch, the free, ad-supported service includes over 15,000 hand-curated videos and over 50 topic-based channels for children to explore. And unlike other platforms, like Netflix or YouTube, Sensical doesn’t use algorithms to make content recommendations. Instead, kids are encouraged to follow their interests and passions across over 50 topic-based channels. This includes things like Adventures, Animals, Arts & Crafts, Music, Science, Sports, Video Games, and other sorts of kid-friendly topics.

Kids can star these channels, or individual videos or series, to keep up with their favorite content in a dedicated Favorites section within the app.

They will see a selection of these channels based on their age, but the company is expanding the channel lineup, so there will be even more specific categories in the future. For example, instead of just “sports,” there could be channels like “soccer” or “gymnastics.” Instead of “Arts,” there could be “drawing” or “origami.” Instead of just “science,” it could include channels like “geography” or “robotics,” and so on.

The app also features a Live TV section, which is programmed throughout the day with kid-friendly content, so kids don’t have to browse to find something to watch quickly.

While other streaming services on the market offer kid-friendly content — as that’s a huge selling point for subscribers — it’s not always organized in a way that makes sense. Sometimes, all the content gets lumped into a general “Kids” category, where videos for little kids are mixed in with content for older children. Sensical, meanwhile, curates the content recommendations into three different experiences, including preschool (2-4), little kids (5-7), and big kids (8-10).

What the child sees is based on how parents configure their profiles. Plus, parents can use the service’s ParentZone in-app dashboard to set screen-time limits, extend limits as needed, and view daily reports on what the child has watched. However, the service’s best feature is that the content is assured to be age-appropriate — even the ads.

This is possible because the curation approach Sensical takes is very different from YouTube Kids. YouTube’s app for kids leans on algorithms to filter out adult content from YouTube’s broader library, but the company doesn’t manually review all the videos it includes. It warns parents that some inappropriate content could slip through. (And it has.)

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About author
Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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