Sensical, from Common Sense Networks, is an award-winning streaming service offering thousands of entertaining, age-appropriate videos and podcasts featuring characters and creators that children love. Inspired by the expertise of Common Sense Media, the ad-supported destination features content for three distinct age groups – 2 to 4 (Preschool), 5 to 7 (Little Kids), and 8 to 10 (Big Kids) – all screened by experts and filtered through a rigorous, proprietary rubric based on the most comprehensive child development research available. Grounded in science, the topic-driven, 60+ channel service is certified by the kidSAFE+ ® COPPA Seal Program and offers families an algorithm-free, worry-free OTT option available via an array of streaming devices, smart TV manufacturers, and mobile devices.
Generation Alpha, children under the age of 12, is growing up on the Internet. 80% of kids spend an hour or more each day with algorithm-based services featuring content and advertising that are not age-appropriate. As a result, ensuring their safety in an increasingly digitized world is critical. Kids' consumption behavior, combined with an unwavering belief that children deserve better, is the driving force behind Common Sense Networks direct-to-consumer, ad-supported streaming service, Sensical.
Sensical was created to provide both access to age-appropriate, safe, high-quality content, and create a healthy ecosystem for parents, creators, and brands to connect through this experience with rich features and tools. To realize that mission, Sensical sought Accedo to develop a premium, ubiquitous, and bespoke on demand streaming service for multiple device platforms.
Accedo designed and deployed a custom AVOD solution that supports a rich catalog of on-demand content curated into 60 topic based channels, including three FAST channels rooted in kid passions. We worked closely with our strategic partner, Brightcove, throughout this project to ensure alignment with Sensical’s important content management needs, which was efficiently handled thanks to Brightcove’s Video CloudTM.
Enabling scalability with custom solution
Common Sense Networks is committed to making their carefully curated content available to all kids, on the device platforms they love to use. To achieve this objective, the Sensical experience was developed using Accedo's cross-platform web framework, Accedo Build for each tech stack. The benefit of using Accedo's cross-platform framework, Accedo Build for HTML5/JS devices, is that it enabled Accedo to port Sensical's Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to additional CTV device platforms. In addition, all Sensical apps are powered by Accedo Control, a dynamic cloud-driven application management system.
UX and unique ParentZone feature
As Sensical’s young viewers required a new and innovative user experience, our team of experts meticulously designed the user interface to meet the target audience’s expectations of UX, intuitiveness, and design aesthetics. The Sensical experience also incorporates a uniquely designed ParentZone tool which surfaces viewing information personalized by child profile so parents have insight into what their kids are watching and learning while interacting with the service. This insight allows parents to better understand their children’s passions so they can extend the learning process at home. The ParentZone also includes the "Time's Up" feature, further setting Sensical apart from other kids entertainment apps. This feature controls and updates the time the children are watching and allows kids to request more TV time if needed.
Other distinctive capabilities, such as Custom Ads UI (Ad counter and countdown), Pre-roll ads via SSAI for Live & VOD, and more, were also incorporated into the application to ensure kids receive age-appropriate ads, allowing them to roam freely and have a positive experience overall.
"We set out to make something custom to realize the vision, and we needed a partner right there with us for different reasons. The first was quality. We also wanted to ensure the app would be ubiquitous across all platforms. Thirdly, we had some precise tools to implement, and Accedo was up for the challenge. Ultimately, what sold it for us was that Accedo bought into our vision that kids deserve better." - Eric Berger, CEO, Common Sense Networks
The custom solution built by Accedo allowed us to port the service across Apple TV, Fire TV, VIZIO, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, iOS, Android, Google TV, Amazon Fire Tablet, and web browsers with consistent device attributes. The result allowed Sensical to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) and time-to-market while enabling Sensical to extend their reach to new users and retain existing users.
Setting new standards in the kids entertainment market
Common Sense Networks set forth exceedingly high standards for its Sensical product, with an uncompromising expectation that this standard would be upheld across all device platforms. The result is a truly differentiated product that provides an elevated experience in the kid's entertainment market. The app has gained momentum and attracted significant attention for creating a healthy and safe ecosystem for parents, kids, creators, and brands to thrive together.
The Sensical app has been a finalist and shortlisted for many awards, mainly - “FAST Innovation of the Year” (VideoTech 2022 Innovation Awards ), “Best TV User Experience” (2022 CSI Awards), “Essential Kids App” (selected by iOS App Store), “World Changing Ideas” (Fast Company 2022), nominee for Kidscreen Awards and others.
We set out to make something custom to realize the vision, and we needed a partner right there with us for different reasons. The first was quality. We also wanted to ensure the app would be ubiquitous across all platforms. Thirdly, we had some precise tools to implement, and Accedo was up for the challenge. Ultimately, what sold it for us was that Accedo bought into our vision that kids deserve better.
CEO, Common Sense Networks