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Giving Families the Power – An Interview with Kidoodle.TV

September 2nd, 2015


Digital storage, organization and access is a modern problem addressed by Kidoodle.TV’s newest feature!

Our offices were busy this summer with three major updates to the Kidoodle.TV service, all designed to make life for our Kidoodle.TV families that much better!

With each update, we get a ton of questions from fans, so we decided to sit down with our Chief Product Officer (CPO) to get the nitty gritty, especially on our newest feature, Family Moments™. Here’s an interview between our Communications Director, Alicia McTavish (AM), and our CPO, Neil Gruninger, (NG).

AM – You look nervous.

NG – Probably because I am.

AM – Don’t worry I’ll be nice. So, for all of our fans out there…what exactly is Family Moments?

NG – Well, in its simplest form, Family Moments is a new feature that’s part of the Kidoodle.TV service. It lets parents upload, store and share their family videos with friends and family. So essentially, parents can now upload their home movies, or even record them right within the app, and then store and watch each video right within Kidoodle.TV.  Kids and their families can then watch those videos right next to favorite cartoons and shows. Parents can also send the videos over email or social media, allowing friends and family access to the video in full without having to worry that that the file size is too large.

AM – Why do you think this feature is so cool?

NG – I think there’s so much possibility for how families can use this feature. For instance, I’ll tell you why my 16-year-old nephew thinks it’s cool. He can now film all of his baseball games, upload them to Kidoodle.TV and then watch and re-watch how he played. For him, he can use it as a tool to become a better baseball player. I also think there’s great power in being able to watch self-created content no matter the situation, whether it’s your child watching themselves learn their ABCs, or watching themselves in a school play. As well, families can share important events remotely, whether it’s an important family function like a wedding or birthday party, or its baby’s first steps. This lets families create a family history and virtual video album that can be labelled with important dates, details and names.

AM – So, how did you come up with the idea for Family Moments?

NG – Truthfully, it was a combination of things that lead to this, but one of the catalysts was a story we heard in the office. Someone close to our team was talking about how her mother was diagnosed with cancer and while in the hospital, her mother was worried that she wouldn’t be able to share some precious moments with her grandchildren. She decided to read a bunch of her favorite children’s books and nursery rhymes on film, so as her grandchildren got older, they could still have that connection and memory of her. We wanted to help families create and share those moments.

AM – Are stories like that behind all of the features that get released?

NG – You know, we really try and talk to our parents and our families and really get to what is relevant in their lives. So we may not have stories that always pull on the heartstrings but we do use our own experiences to develop these features.

AM – Some people may wonder why families can’t just post their videos to social media?

NG – I think a lot of parents are a little apprehensive about throwing those videos up on social media where it’s viewable by anyone, not just friends and family. We know that parents are concerned about their digital footprint, and especially about their kids’ digital footprints. As well, kids generally aren’t on social media, so housing videos in Kidoodle.TV allows them to watch themselves in a safe environment.

AM – How did safety factor into designing this feature?

NG – Safety has been at the centre of Kidoodle.TV since we started. When designing Family Moments, we knew that it had to be done in a way that kept children safe but that allowed them to independently navigate and discover content. But we also believe in enabling parents with safety tools and viewing parameters, because at the end of the day we know that each family has different values. So, we enabled parents to make the major decisions about what videos can be stored and viewed through their personal Kidoodle.TV accounts or if they want to share those videos with friends and family and how. When they do share, they can choose to have videos password protected or not, again giving parents the power of choice.

AM – How does Family Moments make Kidoodle.TV better?

NG – It gives our subscribers the ability to customize their content library by adding their own created content. That’s huge. A real game changer.

AM – Okay, here’s a tough one…what’s your favorite cartoon?

NG – I like Johnny Test, Monster Math Squad, Jungle Bunch, George of the Jungle, Yo Gabba Gabba, Super Mario World, hmm…oh and Inspector Gadget. It’s a classic. I love that one. (laughs) I really do love cartoons. You know, the best part of my job is that when I was a kid, cartoons were my life and now I’m in my thirties and cartoons are my life.

AM – What’s a talent that not many people know you have?

NG – Hmm, actually, I’m pretty good at juggling.

AM – Really?

NG – Yup. I can actually juggle three, six pound bowling balls…but don’t tell anyone.

AM – Your secret is safe with me. Now do you think you can share one of your Family Moments with us?

NG – Sure. I actually saw a funny Internet video the other day so I’ll try and recreate it…

AM – A big thank you, Neil, for taking time out of your day to answer some of our questions (and for sharing your Family Moment)!

Are there any questions you have for Neil? What do you think of Family Moments? Comment below and let us know what you think.

~ Alicia & Jeremy