All kids are creative; it just takes the right tools and approach to unleash their talents. Based on Universal Music Group’s (UMG) Music 2019 consumption study across 6-10 and 11-13 years olds in the UK, DE, USA, including 1500 children and 1200 parents, over three quarters (79%) of parents globally wish their children were more confident regarding their creativity.
In the past, kids used to play in backyards and gardens, ride bicycles, skate, play hide and seek, etc. or collect LEGO sets. Those days are gone forever, and nowadays, the new generation prefers digital kinds of entertainment. Check The Toxicity of YouTube’s New Algorithm, TikTok’s Uncertain Future, Instagram Reels & Virtual Events to learn about the trending platform impact for new generations.
Social media’s problem is that most of the apps and games are for adults or require to be at least 12, 13, and above. So those who haven’t reached the necessary age find alternative ways to consume content illegally. For instance, one of the most popular apps among the new generation, TikTok, in its terms and conditions, defined the minimum age for users to be 13. It also gives private accounts to 13-15 years olds. However, according to statistics, 49 million daily TikTok users in the United States are 14 years old or younger.
A former TikTok employee even reported cases where they had previously reported videos from children who appeared to be even younger. The same situation has happened with other major social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. These platforms’ main issue is that they are not safe enough for underaged users, with issues of all levels of danger ranging from harmless ones to critically dangerous situations.
The examples can vary from sharing content capable of making them vulnerable to even getting into harmful communications, and everything in between. The dilemma occurs because allowing kids to use social media the way adults do is not an option, but leaving them with nothing is also not the right solution since eventually, they will find a way to get the entertainment they want through other means.
Remember the mentioned LEGO sets from your childhood? Of course you do; well, the Denmark-born toy firm came up with the idea to give kids what they want while being in a safe environment. They inked a deal with Universal Music Group back in April 2020 that promised “a new interactive way of inspiring the next generation of fans and creative visionaries.” The deal was announced to be based around the development of a new series of LEGO products launching in 2021. A few days ago, the companies announced the launch of a new product they described as “an innovative music video maker experience” called LEGO VIDIYO.
According to LEGO’s statements, the LEGO VIDIYO follows a similar vision than that of short-form video apps like TikTok. It will allow users to select a song within the app from various UMG artists, and create bands from a collection of new LEGO minifigures, customized in different scales via the app’s AR technology.
VIDIYO also has a special effects section offering confetti showers and X-ray vision, all made available through “BeatBits,” decorated as 2×2 square LEGO elements. All that users need to do is scan through “BeatBits” to unlock digital effects allowing them to control everything from video and music styles to on-stage effects. Audio and video effects have to be added to 60-second performances, which can be trimmed down to 5, 10, 15, or 20-second shareable clips.
You probably already noticed that the basic description of VIDIYO has a lot in common with TikTok, and yet its magic lies in the differences it offers. The creators were able to really get inside the Mind of a Digitally Native Music Consumer and supply the demand. The app is for children aged 7-10. It moderates and does not approve for app feed upload, “any content, featuring personally-identifiable information, such as children starring in the video.”
TikTok is considered an amateur film making/editing platform. VIDIYO is for all the young directors out there who want to animate cartoons, film half reality, half digital content, edit content, create avatars, and get creative. There are many resources like the Full Guide on Going Viral on TikTok to help users succeed in the app, and it will be exciting to see if those tips will also work with VIDIYO. There will certainly be nuances and details unveiled to users once the product will be available, as of March 1 in most countries worldwide.
Chief Marketing Officer of the LEGO Group, Julia Goldin, mentioned, “We know children are always chasing new ways to experiment creatively, and LEGO VIDIYO is here to help all kids with a passion for music unleash their creativity through LEGO building and music video production. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!” Nothing changed: LEGO entertained kids before, and it continues to do the same; only the methods change and evolve.
The future of social media is already here, and now is the right time and place to become one of the lucky ones to embrace it. After all, VIDIYO, TikTok, and other platforms are not just for entertainment – they are communities, support systems, and opportunities, so use them wisely. Meanwhile, LEGO and UMG will make kids part of the fun.