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Why it matters: Services such as YouTube have rolled out dedicated apps for kids to allow for curated content that is suitable for that age range. Spotify is following suit with its own kids-friendly app. The app has been in beta since last year in other countries, but it's now launching in the U.S., Canada, and France. Spotify Kids offers over 8,000 songs and 125 playlists that are tailor-made for kids and allows parents to have their own Spotify playlists without undue influence from their kids.
Last year, Spotify rolled out a new version of their Premium Family plan that included the oft-requested parental controls. Now, the company is releasing a dedicated Spotify Kids app. Like YouTube Kids, everything in Spotify Kids is curated to ensure songs are kid-friendly. There are more than 8,000 songs and 125 playlists available with additional content such as stories from family-friendly companies like Disney, Nickelodeon, and Kidz Bop. There are even bedtime stories, lullabies, and soothing music to help children go to sleep. The company also says podcasts are also coming eventually.
Spotify Kids was originally in beta in Ireland before being slowly released to other countries such as Sweden, Australia, and Mexico. Today the app was launched in the United States, Canada, and France.
While content is curated, kids do get some control over their musical tastes. In addition to more pop oriented songs, other options such as Spanish, Christian, country, and even Motown will be available.
Spotify Kids also adds educational content to include a playlist hub called Learning. This will teach kids subjects such as counting, the alphabet, and science. The company recently added a new playlist centered around good personal hygiene, likely in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of course, there are robust parental controls implemented in the app. Parents must grant explicit access for their child. Each child that is added counts towards the six-person limit of Spotify Premium Family. Also like YouTube Kids, parents can set up a PIN that allows big changes to be made such as moving content from younger kids to older kids. While entering a birthday is optional, Spotify says it helps with content curation. Kids can pick a cute cartoon character as a profile picture and choose a color scheme. Speaking of colors, the playlists will change colors depending on the mood. For example, bedtime playlists will be more subdued and muted while upbeat playlist will have more vibrant colors.
The Spotify Kids app is available now for iOS and Android devices but access is exclusive for Spotify Premium Family subscribers. The current list of countries with access to Spotify Kids include the United States, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.