Genius Brands International is entering the metaverse, pioneering the first kids only metaverse. The company recently announced its upcoming subscription-based Kartoon Channel! Kidaverse. Launching April 15, 2022, the first kid-centric metaverse subscription will cost $3.99 per month. The subscription platform promises its shows will be commercial-free.
The Kidaverse is built on technology from Genuis Brands’ new acquisition, Ameba TV. Ameba TV is a kid’s streaming service that is rapidly growing. Kartoon Channel! promises this new service will include all its popular television programs such as Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten and Surviving Roblox. Additionally, the platform will include 13,000 episodes through its Ameba acquisition, including Rescue Heroes and Casper The Friendly Ghost.
The metaverse content will launch in phases. With Kidaverse, children will create unique avatars and have access to exclusive games while wearing Kidaverse VR googles. Considering this, it seems unlikely users will be able to access the Kidaverse with other VR headsets. Additionally, the platform will offer “KFT” s,” which are NFTs for kids. Children can also collect digital trading cards featuring the channel’s most popular characters.
Much like Habbo, Club Penguin, and Roblox, the platform will have its own currency dubbed Kidaverse MetaBuck$. These companies will be competition for the new platform. However, Roblox doesn’t limit its audience to children and has recently partnered with fashion companies Ralph Lauren and Forever 21.
Safety in the Kidaverse
Of course, when it comes to children and the internet, safety is always a primary concern. Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO of Genius Brand, said in a press release that Kartoon Channel! Kidaverse “will be fully curated and child safe.” Accordingly, the same safety features available in the Kartoon Channel! app will protect children in the new platform.
Retired Stanford University Professor Don Roberts had aided Genius Brand in developing a Safe Content Code. “Absent will be bullying, violence, inappropriate language, or negative stereotypes,” said Roberts, who is an authority on media’s impact on childhood development. The platform will also feature Child-Safe messaging for families.
Heyward went on to say, “The single strongest message we receive from parents is the concern about safety for children on screens, whether it is program content or roaming around the internet and various apps. The premise of the Kartoon Channel! Kidaverse is to provide children with fun, positive, engaging digital media AND to provide them with a safe and parent-controlled product.” However, the metaverse is still in its infancy and safety concerns may yet arise that the company does not foresee. If the platform does not satisfy parents in terms of privacy and security, it won’t last long. On the other hand, a kid-centric metaverse handled correctly would be groundbreaking.