EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Your average seven-year-old may not know too much about the intricacies of header bidding through programmatic OTT ad exchanges – but Daniel Riddell doesn’t need them to.

The CTO of kids online TV service Kidoodle.TV is witnessing amazing growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. And he is installing a stack of ad-tech to benefit.

“We’ve grown over 230% since beginning of March,” Riddell tells Beet.TV in this video interview recorded remotely in Edmonton with Canadian-based media company.

‘Safe streaming’

Based in Canada and available on smart TVs and mobile devices, Kidoodle differs from YouTube, and even from YouTube Kids, in that it offers a hand-picked line-up of kids shows, which parents can then curate further. When you register, you indicate a child’s age and can then enable or disable certain shows.

By comparison, initiating parental controls on a YouTube account is a minefield.

“We have over 21,000 licenced episodes on the service today, available in over 196 countries and territories globally,” Riddell says.

“We have actual human review of all content that airs on the service, whether that be programming content or advertisement content.”

Riddell even says Kidoodle has just signed a deal to acquire more than 92 shorts of Paw Patrol, one of the biggest kids TV shows in the world.

The ad play

So, Kidoodle is taking off. But where’s the monetization?

The service is available free with ads or for $4.99, ad-free. Riddell wants to use the ad-supported offering to offer toy tie-ins.

“We see all of the endemic children brands that you would expect to see with a children’s service, whether that be for movie premieres, for brands like Dreamworks with their recent Trolls release or toys from major toy co’s, like Spin Master with their PAW Patrol lineup, or LEGO or Hasbro or Mattel,” he says.

“But we also have a very large co-viewing audience. One of the things that we promote is family viewing because we do have that connected TV focus. We find that over 96% of the parents or guardians of these children do co-view with their children from time to time, and most often are within earshot of the television and hearing the adverts that are there.

“So, we also see some of that co-viewing advertised to them coming through, whether it be from consumer packaged goods or automotive or travel, really focusing on those family-friendly brands.”

Speed and safety

Kidoodle.TV recently joined Limpid, Glewed TV, IPG and MediaMath in signing up to use OpenWrap OTT, software from ad-tech vendor PubMatic that uses “header bidding” to help publishers get better ad rates.

Header bidding allows them to entertain ad bids from multiple buyer demand sources simultaneously, avoiding the historic “waterfall” or sequential approach, thereby getting sight of best bids all at the same time and – the theory goes – encouraging out-bidding.

Riddell expects Kidoodle to light it up in mid-July. But he is going to have to balance real-time bidding with Kidoodle’s mission to screen ads for kid safety. He trails “some enhancements to our internal creative review process to make it a more real-time system”.

Up next, the service is also talking with TV manufacturers about releasing custom remote controls for children, and releasing 4K and 8K content.

This is from a Beet.TV series titled “The Accelerated Evolution of Programmatic OTT” presented by PubMatic.  for more videos please visit this page