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Former CNN digital boss KC Estenson is running GoNoodle, an educational video company

GoNoodle makes free software your kids may have used at school; he wants them to watch it at home, too.

KC Estenson GoNoodle
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

KC Estenson used to spend his time trying to get you to click on his stories and watch his videos. Now he wants your kids to watch his videos and run around the classroom.

Estenson is the new CEO of GoNoodle, an education company that distributes videos to schools and homes, aimed at getting kids active while teaching them something, or at least entertaining them.

Estenson ran CNN’s digital arm from 2008 through 2014; he left two years into the Jeff Zucker era.

At GoNoodle, he replaces co-founder Scott McQuigg as the company’s leader; McQuigg will take a seat on the company’s board. The Nashville-based company has raised $16 million since 2013.

GoNoodle’s software is free. It generates revenue via underwriting deals from health care companies like HealthNet and, increasingly, licensing/ad deals from entertainment companies, who pay it to incorporate their characters and brands into the software.

Here’s the kind of video GoNoodle produces:

And here’s a sample of some GoNoodle-branded content from Viacom’s Paramount, promoting its upcoming Sherlock Gnomes movie:

GoNoodle says 14 million kids use its software, primarily in schools. One of Estenson’s jobs will be to increase its reach in homes. The challenge, which Estenson is well aware of: Kids and their parents have unlimited other options.

“The shelf space is super full, and yet there’s nothing healthy on the shelves,” he said. “We’ve found a way to create content that is good for kids and enjoyable to watch.”

This article originally appeared on

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