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 Gets Into the Picture

Mike Shields
July 9, 2009

NEW YORK As more children spend their free time online, a digital media entrepreneur is looking to establish a Web video venue designed and screened especially for kids.

Josh Solt, COO of the Los Angeles-based startup Earlier Media, has launched, a new video hub featuring content from Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS and other children's programmers -- grouped both by content categories and age groups, such as 0-2, 5-6 and 9-10. According to Solt, the site is putting a premium on kids' safety, as all content on has been screened by the Video Advisory Council, a collection of patents and educators who serve as consultants for the company. Plus, parents can customize their kids viewing experience by limiting access to certain content aimed at different age groups, for example.

Currently, does not license any content; instead, it mostly embeds clips from sites like YouTube. Many of the clips on the site from traditional media companies -- such as this clip from Nickelodeon's iCarly -- appear to have been recorded and posted online by fans (not necessarily with Nickelodeon's permission).

But Solt said that is simply aggregating kids content that is already available on the Web, and that the company would make an effort to respect all copyright laws. Business-wise, is free to users, and advertising is not necessarily part of the long-term plan (currently the site does carry some text ads from Google).

Instead, according to Solt, will be used to draw a children's audience that eventually can be funneled to several yet-to-be launched kids' sites that will be subscription and e-commerce based. "This helps us establish a presence in this market," he said. It is a market that is growing fast, particularly when it comes to Web-based entertainment for kids, according to Nielsen.

Solt said that in the next few months, Earlier Media plans to introduce several new Web brands centered on video content, gaming and education. "We think parents are going to want and be willing to pay for this content," he said.






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