Common Sense Networks to Launch Kid-Centric Streaming Service

Eric Berger
Courtesy of Common Sense Networks

The ad-supported service will launch in early 2021 with programming from Sesame Workshop, Mother Goose Club and other producers of children's programming.

Common Sense Networks, the for-profit media arm of Common Sense Media, plans to launch a streaming service for kids in 2021.

Sensical will be a free, ad-supported streaming platform, offering up shortform entertainment programming for children ages 2 to 12. Its library will include titles from major media partners like ABC Commercial and Sesame Workshop and from digital-first creators including Bounce Patrol and Mother Goose Club.

"Sensical's mission is to ignite kids' passions, fuel curiosity, build bridges between children and their parents and make everyone part of the learning journey," said Common Sense Networks CEO Eric Berger. "As a free platform offering only age-appropriate fare, we remove every obstacle to accessing a comprehensive, trusted resource for entertaining short-form video from the best possible content creators.  Every family can afford to add Sensical to their personal bundle, and we couldn’t be more excited to create a distinctive alternative for parents and partner with them in their goal to raise good humans."

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that advocates for safe technology and media for children, launched its media arm earlier this year to create its own entertainment experiences for kids and tapped former Crackle GM Eric Berger to run the L.A.-based venture. Sensical is his first big initiative.

The streaming platform will organize content by age group — preschoolers, little kids, big kids — and viewers will be instructed to pick videos based on topics and passions. Common Sense Media is using a rubric to evaluate content based on child development research and says every frame of every video will be vetted before streaming on Sensical.

The Sensical library will include dozens of known brands, including The Wiggles, The Aquabats and Yoko, at launch. Common Sense Networks says Sensical will launch with 15,000 shortform videos and will add thousands more every month.

To address parental concerns around what their kids are watching, Sensical has created a dashboard that will allow adults to review and manage their child's viewing activity. Parents will also be able to designate what content, based on age range, they want their children to see.

"Over these past few years we've seen an explosion in commercial products and services directed at the audience we serve, but not always with their best interests in mind," said Common Sense Media founder and CEO Jim Steyer. "We believe there is a meaningful opportunity for Sensical to fill a massive void in the current ecosystem and for Common Sense Networks to innovate in the space for the long-term benefit of kids and families."

Sensical will enter a crowded market for kids programming already dominated by YouTube, Netflix and Disney+. HBO Max, meanwhile, offers a robust library of Sesame Street programming. Common Sense Networks has yet to announce the launch date for Sensical. The service will be on major over-the-top platforms and via smart TVs and mobile devices.