Kids Learning Tube is an online educational resource for children. It teaches kids a wide range of subjects like geography, the solar system, the human body, nutrition, and more through music and animated videos.
The brand was born about six years ago when the company’s founder, Matt Lawrence, decided to quit his job to become a stay at home father.
With a three-year-old son at home, Matt began searching for educational resources on YouTube and other online platforms. But he couldn’t find anything decent that was distraction-free. It was this lack of useful content that inspired Matt to create his own educational videos.
Matt already had a musical background but wanted animations to go along with the songs (like a modern-day Schoolhouse Rock). So he quickly taught himself how to animate, and his content became a huge hit online.
Today, Kids Learning Tube has 615+ million views on YouTube. The videos are used by parents and teachers in homes and classrooms across the globe.
YouTube was Kids Learning Tube’s biggest distribution platform. But things took a turn when the US government slapped YouTube with a hefty fine for violating COPPA laws. COPPA stands for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. This US federal law became effective back in the year 2000 to protect children under the age of 13 while browsing online.
In short, YouTube wasn’t following COPPA laws for its advertising structure on content for kids.
Google (YouTube’s parent company) ultimately had to pay a $170 million fine for these violations. Moving forward, YouTube had to change the advertising model for children’s videos, which had a significant impact on creators using this channel—including Kids Learning Tube.
“I’m all for keeping kids safer online, but it crushed my revenue quite substantially,” Matt explains.
With his primary source of income reduced, Matt needed to find another way to monetize the Kids Learning Tube content.
“It’s so important to me, and I’m so passionate about teaching children that I wanted to keep that revenue so I can actually pay my bills and continue to create videos,” he says.
This dilemma is what ultimately inspired the creation of a mobile app.
After some brainstorming, Matt quickly realized that developing an app would solve his problem. This would allow him to monetize the Kids Learning Tube content outside of YouTube.
The app would be ad-free and keep the children safe, complying with all COPPA laws. Kids Learning Tube would make money by charging a small monthly subscription fee to fund the content creation and distribution.
But in order to build the app, Matt needed to find a platform for development—that’s when he discovered BuildFire.
“I needed to put my videos out there, have some flashcards for testing, interesting facts that kids can learn, and put my music on it as well for all the kids to learn when they’re driving in the car,” Matt explains. “I also needed to have all of this ad-free and use a subscription model.”
“BuildFire had all the things we were looking for.”
When asked about his experience developing an app using BuildFire’s DIY platform, Matt had nothing but great things to say.
“It was really seamless. My main contact was incredible. She really knocked it out of the park from day one and has been absolutely incredibly responsive for anything we needed done. As far as hooking it up through iOS and Android devices through Google and Apple, we were really blown away with the support that BuildFire gave us.”
While Kids Learning Tube was originally made for young children, they have begun creating videos for a wider audience. In fact, the videos range from children as young as 3-years-old all the way through high school ages.
A student from Stanford wrote their thesis on Kids Learning Tube because they used it to get A’s in their anatomy class.
Doctors and professors even use the videos as a teaching tool.
Now that Matt has created a mobile app, the sky is the limit from an expansion standpoint.
“The number one thing I’ve always wanted Kids Learning Tube to achieve is being the number one source for all kids and young adults to learn from. So I’m hoping it can be one of the most successful apps out there,” he explains.
Right now, the videos and music are the primary features used in the app. But Matt hopes to create some different games for learning on the app in the future as well.
“I would absolutely recommend BuildFire, and I actually have recommended BuildFire. It’s incredible. All the other app companies I looked at had little things here and there that just didn’t fit what I was looking to do, and they weren’t as versatile as BuildFire,” Matt says.
“It’s a 100% guaranteed success story if you build with BuildFire, in my eyes. That was my experience.”