Wired: HobbyKidsTV, YouTube, and the New World of Child Stars . “HobbyBear is expecting a package any day now. In it will be a Silver Play Button, a plaque that YouTube gives to creators who have surpassed 100,000 subscribers. HobbyBear has a little under 99,000 now, so he hasn’t quite earned the commendation. But give him a break: He’s only 6.”
The Guardian: ‘It’s not play if you’re making money’: how Instagram and YouTube disrupted child labor laws. “… while today’s child stars can achieve incredible fame and fortune without ever setting foot in a Hollywood studio, they may be missing out on one of the less glitzy features of working in the southern California-based entertainment industry: the strongest child labor laws for performers in the country.”
AdAge: Kidfluencers’ Rampant YouTube Marketing Is A Minefield For Google. “Since it was founded in 2005, YouTube has operated beyond the reach of rules that govern advertising on traditional television. But the site has grown so large and influential that the days of light-touch regulation may soon be over. Kids’ programming is where the crackdown is most likely. The problem with sponsored content is that it’s not always clear what’s an ad. Kids are particularly vulnerable to being manipulated by paid clips that masquerade as legitimate content. On TV, the ground rules are clearer: Ads come when the show takes a break.”
Wired: Child Stars Don’t Need Hollywood. They Have YouTube. “In recent years, hundreds of kids have risen to bankable internet stardom on Instagram and YouTube. Marketers, ever the wordsmiths, have dubbed them ‘kidfluencers.’ They’re the child stars of the social media age, tiny captains of industry with their own toy lines and cookbooks. On Instagram, families seem to go for a controlled-chaos aesthetic—a Kondo’d Jon & Kate Plus 8. On YouTube, it’s more like late-capitalist Blue’s Clues. And somehow, despite the brand deals and the creeps in the comments and the constant watchfulness of parents’ cameras and the general ickiness our society attaches to living the most innocent years of your life on a public stage, these kids seem all right.” Man, I hope so.