It can be a challenge for parents to find the right movies and TV shows that their kids can watch, but Common Sense Media and EIDR make their jobs a whole lot easier, according to James Rodder, senior director of business development at Common Sense Media.
Media and technology are at the center of kids’ lives every day. After all, from a very young age, they use technology to connect with friends and family and to document their lives and create digital content of their own.
“We all know how fast tech evolves and how fast new solutions products come out in the market,” Rodder said during the Data, Innovation & Collaboration breakout session “Common Sense Media – Supporting M&E and Ensuring the Digital Wellbeing of Kids/Families Everywhere” that was part of the April 13 EIDR Annual Participant Meeting.
The “three main pillars” of his nonprofit organization are: “We rate, we educate and we advocate,” he told viewers.
Most people know Common Sense Media from the consumer side of its business, “where we provide ratings and reviews for families [for] everything your kids want to watch, read, play and learn,” he said. It provides reviews for over 11,000 movies, over 7,000 TV shows, over 5,000 apps and games and books, etc., he noted.
It offers a total of more than 40,000 ratings and reviews and it reaches 110 million users annually and 7 million unique monthly visitors to its website, with 4 billion annual media impressions, according to Common Sense Media.
The information it provides is targeted for ages 2-18 and provides explanations about the sexual content and violence in the content reviewed, Rodder pointed out. Common Sense Media also provides original video content.
It has more than 15 pay TV partners, including Apple, AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Fandango, HBO Max, Verizon and Vudu.
Common Sense Media has “long-standing trust and credibility with families and the industry” and over 16 years of experience as an organization, he said. It has also provided “thought leadership” with its independent research and projects with institutions including Harvard and the University of Southern California, providing data on children’s use of media and technology and the impact it has on their development, he explained.
It empowers educators, schools and students with: a Digital Citizenship program for K-12 at over 50% of U.S. public schools, EdTech reviews and resources, and a “Wide Open School” website that he said helps bridge the home-to-school connection with simple remote learning resources for educators and families.
“The bottom line is parents are just hungry for guidance,” he told viewers, pointing to research it conducted showing: 87% of parents want their TV providers to deliver age-relevant recommendations; 82% want family-friendly features in their TV providers’ platforms; 69% of parents struggle with the lack of parental controls and finding age-appropriate content; 78% of parents want age-based, quality recommendations for their families; and 92% trust Common Sense to help find appropriate entertainment for their families.
Proven success metrics show that parents are 95% more likely to say yes to a TV show or movie with Common Sense Media content integrated and there is a 130% increase in sales with its age ratings present at the point of sale, he added.
Common Sense editors and reviewers are “tagging and adding robust metadata to support video platform products,” Rodder went on to say.
Its unique metadata includes: topics specific to kids and families, character strengths, content categories and Kids Say/Parents Say user age ratings.
Common Sense robust metadata capabilities include: metadata-driven curation, personalization and profiles, search and filtering, voice capabilities, and “walled-garden experiences,” according to Common Sense Media.
Collaborating With EIDR
Common Sense Media’s work and collaboration with EIDR allows their shared partners to have direct access to asset-specific URL links that present key information such as an age recommendation, content assessment/parents’ guide grid, a synopsis and more, Rodder explained.
Along with the URL, Common Sense Media provides a Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID) so licensed pay TV partners can reconcile the Common Sense asset IDs to the EIDR IDs supporting title matching efforts, he said.
Common Sense’s curation “drives discovery and engagement,” it says. It has over 700 curated lists for families that have proven to drive engagement and conversion in partner platforms, according to the organization.
As examples, Rodder pointed to its curated lists for: best sleepover movies, feel-good family movies and Black Lives Matter movies and TV shows.