The year-end review has become as traditional and controversial as a holiday fruitcake: You either love it or hate it. And while most of these lists are tailored to adults (ahem, the Spotify Wrapped 2019 overview your friends will not stop sharing on Instagram — we get it, you really liked Billie Eilish this year), YouTube is making sure kids’ interests are represented too. YouTube’s family-friendly service, YouTube Kids, released its list of the top 10 most-viewed videos of the year, and said list is packed with the wholesome sing-a-long songs you’ve (begrudgingly) grown to love.
The most popular video by far is one many parents have probably played on a loop as they’ve struggled to get their kids ready every morning: CocoMelon’s “This Is the Way.” This fun little ditty features three animated kids making their beds, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and, generally, being star children. We stan a motivational video that makes chores and hygiene more fun.
Second up is Ryan World’s “ABC Song,” in which world-renowned eight-year-old kidfluencer teaches kids the English alphabet. It’s really no surprise Ryan made the cut. Though YouTube Kids doesn’t show subscription or video view numbers, Ryan World’s YouTube proper channel boasts 22.8 million subscribers and generates billions of views every year. For instance, this kid posted a video about making gingerbread houses this morning and racked up 23,000 views in just four hours. It’s madness!
The third most popular video goes to everyone’s favorite English swine, Peppa Pig. The video, “Peppa Pig Goes to Digger World! Parents’ Day,” was a hit amongst kids everywhere who desperately want to emulate the posh piglet. (Heck, even Princess Charlotte loves her!)
Other favorites included Nick Jr. “Junior Dress-Up Party ft. PAW Patrol“; Baby Bus “No No Potty Song“; Sesame Street “Nursery Rhymes Songs Compilation with Elmo and Friends“; Mother Goose Club Playhouse “Dinosaur Stomp and More“; Disney Jr. UK “PJ Masks The Easter Egg Hunt“; Super Simple Songs “If You’re Happy and You Know It“; and Little Angel Nursery Rhymes and Kids Songs “Baby’s Visit to the Doctor.”
YouTube has become an integral part of many kids’ lives, and 81% of parents with children 11 years or younger say they let their kids watch content on the streaming platform, according to Pew Research. In the past, both YouTube and YouTube Kids have come under fire for allowing disturbing content to slip through the cracks and allowing ads to target kids.
The company has since announced changes to its kid-friendly platform that will be more compliant with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines. Kid content found on YouTube will no longer have like/dislike buttons, comments sections, or sharing options, operating similarly to the YouTube Kids platform. While the company wants to make YouTube proper safer for children 13 and up, it recommends that kids 13 and under consume their content on YouTube Kids, which gives parents more oversight and control, such as features to limit screen time and block videos. (Even YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki told 60 Minutes that she doesn’t let her kids watch YouTube and prefers they spend limited time watching YouTube Kids.)
“We built YouTube Kids to create a safer environment for kids to explore their interests and curiosity while giving parents the tools to customize the experience for their kids,” a YouTube spokesperson tells SheKnows. “Our library is filled with family-friendly videos on all different topics, igniting kids’ inner creativity and playfulness.”
No internet platform is without flaws or dangers, and it does seem that YouTube Kids is taking its role in protecting children online seriously. That’s great news for everyone who needs a little help from CocoMelon’s “This Is the Way” once (or three times) during the morning rush.