A smaller beta-test of Spotify Kids kicked off in Ireland last October.
The app is available via iOS and Android for Spotify Premium Family subscribers in the U.K., free-of-charge, and Spotify said that since it is part of Premium Family, there are no ads.
All of the content available via Spotify Kids is curated by editors, with a focus on ensuring that it is age-appropriate.
Parents can choose from two options at signup.
Audio for Younger Kids includes content such as singalongs, lullabies and soundtracks, geared toward younger listeners.
And Audio for Older Kids offers tracks and playlists, including some popular tracks, that are appropriate and relevant for older kids.
Spotify said it will continue to build out its content offerings for both options, adding in a release, “As we evolve the app experience, we will be rolling out enhanced parental settings and controls that allow for increased customization, further underscoring our commitment to safety and making it as easy as possible for parents and kids to have the best experience.”
The company also pointed out that the appearance of Spotify Kids differs from that of the main Spotify app, adding, “It’s fun, familiar, playful, simple and bursting with color. This approach is key in easing navigation, resonating with users of all cognitive levels, and it brings a sense of delight to the Spotify Kids experience.”
Spotify said it chose to go the beta route because releasing a stand-alone app especially for kids was a new direction for the company, and it intends to continue refining the Spotify Kids experience over time, incorporating best practices and learnings, as well as input from parents, caregivers and experts.
On the user side, Spotify Kids enables younger listeners to listen to audio they like via their own accounts and explore their tastes in an environment that is designed for them and filters out explicit content.
They can discover music and stories chosen by experts and listen to playlists made specifically for their age groups. Those with iOS devices can also play their favorite tracks offline.
Spotify said playlists available as the app debuts in beta are: Activities (playtime, party time, bedtime and homework), Artists/Groups, Genres, Movies and TV Shows, Seasonal, Spotify Originals, Stories and Top Hits.
“Dinosaurs in Love,” written by three-year-old Fenn Rosenthal, is included in Spotify Kids’ playlist as its beta kicks off, as well as on the worldwide Dinosaurs playlist, and the songwriter’s father, Tom Rosenthal, said in the release, “Spotify Kids is a great idea. Music is important for everyone, but often, kids get forgotten in the musical world, many believing that nursery rhymes will suffice for their early years. Kids are open to everything and deserve a diverse and interesting range of music selected especially for them. A Spotify service dedicated to them is timely, important and very useful.”
Other new artists chosen specifically for their resonance with youngsters in the U.K. include Adele, Busted, CBeebies, Craig David, George Ezra, Calvin Harris, Hey Duggee, Little Mix, McFly, Rastamouse, Spice Girls and Take That.
Spotify chief Premium business officer Alex Norström said in the release, “Spotify is committed to giving billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by music and stories, and we’re proud that this commitment now includes the next generation of audio listeners. We are excited to be expanding the Spotify Premium Family experience with a dedicated app just for our youngest fans. Spotify Kids is a personalized world bursting with sound, shape and color, where our young listeners can begin a lifelong love of music and stories.“
UK Safer Internet Centre director Will Gardner added, “It’s brilliant to have Spotify’s support to make the internet a safe and encouraging place for young people to learn, find their voice and explore their identities. For many, music is an essential part of self-discovery, so to have a safe space for children to begin this journey is very welcome. Safer Internet Day is all about supporting young people to harness the internet for good, and we encourage new technologies that help us achieve this.”