Lego teams with Universal Music Group for TikTok-like kids app

Dive Brief:

  • The Lego Group and Universal Music Group (UMG) have partnered to launch Lego Vidiyo, a video-making app and associated products aimed at children aged 7 to 10, per an announcement. Children can direct, produce, star in and share their own music videos set to songs from the UMG catalog.
  • Lego Vidiyo lets children use an app in conjunction with Lego minifigures and “BeatBit” Lego pieces to create 60-second music videos that can be trimmed to smaller, shareable clips. With the app, kids can “bring to life” the minifigures through augmented reality (AR) technology and scan the BeatBits to unlock digital effects. Lego Vidiyo products will be available March 1.
  • The branded app could be a way for Lego and UMG to tap into the interest in video-making social media apps like TikTok and Triller, but in an environment that is safe for children. The app requires parent consent and uses anonymity and external content moderation to ensure child safety, per the announcement. Content that features personally identifiable information, such as children in the videos, can be stored in-app but cannot be uploaded to the app’s feed.

Dive Insight:

Lego Vidiyo is the Danish toymaker’s latest push into digital and mobile technology as it looks to engage digitally native kids. With its focus on creating shareable music videos, Vidiyo could be a way for the company to tap into the surging interest in apps like TikTok and Triller, but in an environment that is safe for children.

Age verification has caused headaches for TikTok, as the platform is being used to market e-cigarettes and vapes to teens and has been ordered by Italy’s data protection agency to block users it can’t age verify after a 10-year-old girl died after participating in a “blackout challenge” on the app. With its focus on parental consent, user anonymity and content moderation, Vidiyo may be able to assure parents the platform is safe for children in a way that TikTok and its competitors haven’t always done.

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Vidiyo continues Lego’s efforts to encourage creativity in children by integrating music into its block-building toys. Over three quarters (79%) of parents globally wish their children had more creative confidence, with 89% saying music helps build creative skills and 83% saying it helps build confidence, per the company’s Play Well Study 2020. In addition, nearly three-quarters (74%) of children aged 5 to 12 say music helps them connect with friends, per the study. With interest from both parents and children, Lego can boost sales of its minifigures and BeatBit elements with its music-based app.

Lego’s latest mobile push comes as the company looks to build on growth it has experienced during the coronavirus pandemic as parents seek ways to keep homebound children entertained and educated. The company saw a 14% sales growth in H1 2020 compared with H1 2019, with double-digit consumer sales growth in major market groups, including the Americas, Western Europe, Asia Pacific and China, per a press release.

Lego and UMG first announced they would partner on a toy line in April 2020. Lego Vidiyo is the first collaboration to come out the partnership.

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