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Baby sensory videos

Baby sensory videos

New sensory video content for babies

Baby sensory videos owe their ascent, in part, to a change YouTube and Spotify made to their ranking algorithms which prioritizes the watch duration as a proxy for engagement, rather than just looking at likes and clicks. This gave an advantage to content where users typically press “play” and let the video play continuously without pausing or skipping forward.

This algorithm change also played a role in the ascent of lo-fi music, but the dynamics of baby sensory videos magnify the impact. With most other YouTube videos, the person who selects the video and the person who watches the video are the same. With baby sensory videos though, not only are they different, but the person watching the video – the baby – isn’t even able to pause or fast forward. This means that, in the eyes of YouTube’s engagement and ranking algorithm, a single view by a baby is worth more than one by an adult.

The importance of educational and sensory videos

Screen time is an effective way to keep kids distracted for short periods of time, so parents often turn to YouTube for emergency entertainment. This demand, coupled with parenting guilt over mindless screentime, has led to interest in videos that offer some kinds of stimulating or educational elements. While it’s relatively easy to find videos for kids who are old enough to talk or count, it’s historically been harder to find videos for babies. This has created a market for baby sensory videos, which use soothing music and brightly-colored shapes against dark backgrounds to keep small children occupied without worrying parents about what they’ll see.

Sensory videos are related to the ASMR video trend, which targets adults with videos that include soothing and repetitive sounds. The availability of royalty-free music, and the ease of creating repetitive animations with simple shapes and bright colors, means it’s relatively easy to produce videos in this format.