The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Sensical from Common Sense Networks

Finalist in Youth & Family


Inspired by the work of Common Sense Media, a trusted resource to parents for almost two decades, Common Sense Networks, a public benefit corporation,  was founded on the premise that the shift in digital media consumption for kids is profound and that an innovative, more thoughtful approach to creating entertainment options for families was required.

Gen Alpha is growing up on the internet with 80% of kids spending an hour or more each day with algorithm-based services featuring content and advertising that are not age-appropriate.  Violence, sexual content, materialism, drugs, alcohol, and problematic stereotypes are top concerns for parents who don’t have the time or tools to monitor their children’s online activity. At the same time, parents recognize the potential educational benefits and desire safer, healthier digital media options. In a 2021 survey, parents of children aged 2–10 named age-appropriate content as their most-wanted attribute in a children’s video service. They also valued high-quality, educational short-form videos featuring positive role models.

The company’s vision is a world where kids can freely explore their passions with no digital, economic, racial, or cognitive barriers, and a belief that Sensical can help to make that world a reality - a  free, ad-supported streaming service grounded in science and built for kids from the ground up.

Strategy and Execution

Sensical was built on the proprietary recommendations rubric borrowed and adapted from Common Sense Media. Through this IP, Sensical boasts an industrial process for rating and curating short-form videos – a precedent-setting frame-by-frame approach where each episode is viewed and rated by dozens of individuals trained in child development. By developing and implementing these new best practices, Sensical amassed the industry’s most comprehensive dataset of healthy content metadata with over 15,000+ short-form videos selected from more than 35,000 reviewed. 

Programmed by humans, all content is tagged across hundreds of attributes and inherent learning benefits.  Our uniquely designed ParentZone tool surfaces viewing information personalized by child profile so parents have insight into what their kids are watching and what their kids are learning while watching. This insight allows parents to better understand their children’s passions so they can extend the learning process at home. 

Sensical was engineered around a research-driven child-focused UI  Designed by numerous education and developmental experts, Sensical balances the demand for content volume with a responsive, child-appropriate experience. Embracing simplicity and continuous kid-testing,  the Sensical team created an elegant space unencumbered by distraction, populated with smart design, intuitive iconography, and copious content.

Sensical delivers a unique streaming experience for Gen Alpha kids and their Millennial parents that is: 

Topic Based: Sensical provides access to a vast library programmed around the topics that kids love, to fuel engagement and learning.  In curating by topic and interest, the platform enables kids to go down a safe “rabbit hole” - exploring their passions and being introduced to new ideas.

Educational: Rooted in leading child education theory and interest-based learning, all content is reviewed by trained child development experts through a proprietary rubric. Each show licensed and programmed is tagged with key lessons and articulated in the “Why It’s Sensical “ feature where parents can easily access each video’s benefits.

Age-Appropriate: Sensical programs three unique and appropriate content experiences based on age and development stage – (2-4), (5-7), (8-10). Parents create individual profiles by child to guarantee access to only relevant content.

Diverse in Representation: Sensical strives for all children to see themselves portrayed in characters and stories and sources videos with authentic voices and representation both behind and in front of the camera.

Responsibly Ad Supported: Sensical offers a trustworthy and responsible approach to advertising and provides an unparalleled ability for brands to be featured alongside safe and suitable content.

Free: Sensical’s ad-supported service allows children at all income levels to access high-quality content free of charge.

By putting Gen Alphas in the driver’s seat of their digital experiences—within the bounds of a safe environment designed specifically for them—Sensical is helping to grow a new generation of curious, creative innovators


Sensical has been embraced by consumers, heralded by the press, and acknowledged by the industry.

Consumers: In the last 12 months our audience has tripled their minutes of engagement. And surveyed parents attest that Sensical is safe (89%) and age-appropriate (85%) for their children.

Press: The destination has been touted by a wide range of media including TechCrunch, noting that Sensical’s content, “assured to be age-appropriate - even the ads...” is an area “that’s often overlooked on other services.” The Wall Street Journal described Sensical as a “good find”; Romper says that “parents can rest easy” as “anything their child chooses to watch on Sensical is 100% kid-appropriate”; and Fatherly shared that Sensical’s “age-appropriate categories are a game-changer.” 

Industry: Sensical is certified by the kidSAFE+ ® COPPA Seal Program (, recognized as a Fast Company World Changing Idea in 2022, and Kidscreen Awards nominee for best kids streaming service two years in a row. The application was shortlisted for both the VIdeoTech Innovation Awards and for best TV User experience in the CSI Awards.

By creating Sensical, Common Sense Networks has built a safe destination for both families and brands – a home to entertaining, age-appropriate fare with an approach that elevates engagement and is unlike anything currently available in the marketplace.


Video for Sensical from Common Sense Networks

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Common Sense Networks


Entry Credits