Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Television and New Media

First page number:


Last page number:



This paper analyzes emerging shifts in YouTube, advertising, and children’s digital media industries through a case study of Pocket Watch, a digital-first production and distribution studio built exclusively for YouTube child stars. Our analysis reveals the company’s strategic use of legacy media industry power, networks, and expertise to transform YouTube stars into global brands through the creation of toy, clothing, and lifestyle product lines across several industries. We further argue that Pocket Watch’s newly formed advertising division, Clock Work, exploits its child partners through problematic native advertising and host selling practices. The strategies implemented by Pocket Watch and other similar emerging companies may therefore act as a litmus test for how governmental regulation and platform policy changes will impact the evolving landscape of children’s digital media as commercial forces increasingly groom a growing number of young children to shift from YouTube stars to global brands.


Advertising; Branding; Child-created content; Kidfluencer; Platform regulation; YouTube


Business Analytics | Cognitive Psychology

File Format


File Size

168 KB


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

UNLV article access

Search your library