The Tankee Journey: A Dad's Perspective
A year ago my mentor asked me a question when I was considering a jump to entrepreneurship and dedicating my work life to building a new mobile entertainment platform for kids.
“Gerald, which decision would you feel better explaining to your son five years from now?”
It’s always humbling to look at yourself through your child’s eyes. It cuts through all of the ancillary distractions that keep us trapped in our own worldviews and office politics. I embraced telling my future 13-year-old son that his dad endeavored to be a core member of the team that created a new, safer way for kids to enjoy the incredible world of gaming through videos.
Today we are stepping out of our start-up cave to announce Tankee Inc., a company my friend Dan Chiu and I founded to create the first Kids Gaming Network and showcase the talents of amazing content creators making entertaining gaming videos for kids.
We’re excited to also be releasing an open beta of the Tankee platform for iPad and it’s free! The new app is designed for kids 6-to-12 years-old and allows kids to see videos of gamers playing Minecraft, ROBLOX, Rocket League and many more games. While parents have been working hard educating, encouraging, and supporting their kids, gaming content has become a massive business. Minecraft publisher Mojang was acquired by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5B and ROBLOX, a gaming platform where players are encouraged to build their own games within the ecosystem, is approaching similar lofty valuations.
The amazing part is that while playing games offers hours of fun, there’s also been an explosion of watching people play games. I know it may sound crazy, but for all the NFL fans, please ask them the last time they put on a helmet and tossed the old pigskin. Video gaming fans like watching games just as much as playing!
According to SuperData Research, 666 million people worldwide watched gaming video content in 2017. To put it into perspective, more people watched gaming video content than the viewers of HBO, Netflix, ESPN and Hulu combined. It’s a “thing” and our kids are growing up in this environment. Knowing this and knowing that my son and his friends go nuts for online influencers like I did for basketball players and movie stars, why don’t kids have a space that’s truly built for them? Well, they do now, and it’s called Tankee!
It can be exhausting to don the propellers and go into helicopter parent-mode anytime my son wants to watch a video of his favorite game, worrying about what the next video could be. It’s disheartening going to a birthday party and hearing about a friend’s 7-year-old daughter who had nightmares because the “It” movie trailer played after a ROBLOX video. As parents, we have the false choice of shutting off all technology for our kids or hoping they don’t fall prey to #Elsagate. That’s the trending topic that highlighted the proliferation of videos masquerading as Frozen clips, but actually showing disturbing sexual content. Is there a place to go where you can trust that every single gaming video your child will view will have been reviewed by a real human with your kid’s best interest in mind? We built Tankee to be the digital destination for kids to enjoy gaming videos while offering parents peace of mind.
Tankee is an on-demand video platform for iPad that showcases talented content creators like ThnxCya, JeromeASF, CutePlay, Speedy and many others who have content that is extremely entertaining and family-friendly. These gaming influencers have millions of fans and by joining Tankee, will reach the dedicated 6-12 year-old audience and their families while being featured prominently throughout the platform, and extend their brands in a family-friendly environment. There’s no need to conquer an algorithm to be seen. They can even play a wider variety of games and still reach their audience. These creators are kind of a big deal and we’re excited they believe in what we’re doing. The platform also tells you about games that we recommend and why we love them, but we didn’t show up to the party alone. Those great recommendations come from our partners at SuperParent, the video game resource dedicated to making gaming a family affair.
We also care about safety and privacy online. Kids deserve an online platform where they can engage with content without fearing bullying or that their personal information will be captured and utilized for business purposes. At Tankee, we built the platform in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and have built it into the digital DNA of the company. We’ve partnered with the kid-tech pioneers at SuperAwesome to keep kids safe. Kids can be online, engage with cool content, save their favorite clips, and parents don’t have to worry.
This is just the beginning for us and our Tankee team will work hard to ensure that parents can step away and make dinner without the boogeyman jumping out of a creepy ad. We want you and your child to feel safe and enjoy gaming videos for the fun and entertainment that they can bring a family. You have a new choice when it comes to how and where your kids consume gaming content online, I have a promise to keep to my future 13-year-old with the curly hair and the cool shirt. Give Tankee a try and maybe watch a few clips yourself! Download Tankee from the iOS App Store here and subscribe to our newsletter at www.tankee.com where we will be sharing tips, have special guest interviews with kids technology and gaming experts and of course, Tankee news.