Toca TV, represents the next phase in Toca’s effort to build a digital-first kids’ franchise. The $4.99 per month service, takes direct aim at YouTube with a curated video library designed specifically for kids aged 5 to 9. Think cute animals, Minecraft demos, cooking tutorials, silly/funny music videos. With the short form videos, mirroring the kind of content that attracts millions of views on YouTube.
“When kids decide themselves, they watch a much wider array of things than television executives have been able to foresee,” says Toca Boca cofounder and CEO Björn Jeffery. “The length is different, the production value and time is different, the tone of voice is different—it’s almost people tuning into a friend.”
J Milligan, Head of TocaTV said the team asked themselves “How can we make video playful?”
This central question was posed to to the team when they set out to create a new video experience for kids 5 to 9. “Toca Boca is all about play, and we wanted to make a toy-like platform with personality and whimsy — like every Toca Boca app — that’s intuitive and fun to play with in itself.” Milligan mentioned.
“Video can typically be such a passive, ‘lean back’ experience. And while it’s OK to chill sometimes — yes, kids need to veg out too — playing with video can be engaging, interactive and fun.”
Toca TV differs from YouTube and other video platforms in two notable ways. For one, the video library reflects Toca’s particular perspective on kid-friendly entertainment. There’s no A-B-C’s or 1-2-3’s, for example, because the company focuses, quite simply, on play. “Learning how to be creative, being a good friend, waiting for your turn—there are loads of things that are important to learn but don’t have anything to do with curriculum,” Jeffery says. The result is a set of videos that celebrate being silly (“Don’t mix us up!” a lettuce and a cabbage, wearing glo-sticks and sunglasses, sing in one video) or clever (think epic domino setups) in a way that feels accessible.
The move is designed help advance Toca Boca’s years-long effort to become a global kids brand, and places it squarely in competition with established OTT heavyweights such as Disney to Netflix and Hulu.