I think it is safe to say that the opinion of Kidz Bop 'round these parts is one of -- at best -- tolerance. The half-sung/half-shouted re-workings of songs written for folks twice the age of Kidz Bop's audience have tended to annoy the adults in my audience.
Even with all that, perhaps you should become a Kidz Bop fan. Why? Because it stands to have the biggest positive impact on independent kids music of anything TV-related since Jack's Big Music Show.
For a couple years, the label's been partnering with Comcast to offer a Video on Demand channel (Cox is also now part of the partnership). Up to this point, the channel appears to have been nothing but Kidz Bop-related stuff targeted at the 6+age group, but starting this week, they've added "KB Preschool." It'll feature music videos, educational shows, live concerts and more from both signed and unsigned preschool/children artists (emphasis mine).
This month, Ben Rudnick's “A Frog Named Sam," Lalaland's "Music in You," and Milkshake's "Jump" and "Blue Bird," among others, are debuting on the channel. In months to come, expect Justin Roberts, Debbie and Friends, Sugar Free Allstars, Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Uncle Rock, and more. Kinda looks like a Zooglobble (or Jitterbug) playlist, no?
If you're a Kidz Bop hater, why should you care? Well, Kidz Bop reports that Comcast and Cox reach about 30 million homes (as compared to Nickelodeon's 85 million cable households) and they get more than a million streams a month of their content on video-on-demand. Take into account the streams on their own Kidz Bop website and syndicated programming on KOL (AOL for Kids) and Yahoo! Kids, and the potential impact on those independent artists above is potentially huge. Even if you don't have Comcast or Cox (or are worried about what other videos might be interspersed between those listed above and therefore wouldn't let your kids watch it anyway), grabbing just 10% of those streams for independent music would be a pretty big deal.
So, yeah, count me as a fan. I'm as surprised as anyone. And if you're actually in one of these households, let me know what you think of the channel (and what else I've missed)...