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'Sesame Street' eyes one billion YouTube views

'Sesame Street' eyes one billion YouTube views


Children's programming is the new Gangnam Style

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The Count is going to be busy today. "Sesame Street" is approaching one billion views on its YouTube channel, putting it into territory generally reserved for pop artists such as Korean rapper Psy ("Gangnam Style"), Lady Gaga, and of course, Biebs. "Sesame Street," though, will be the first "nonprofit organization and the first US children's company," to hit the number, as the channel notes.

With 978 million views as of 11 AM ET Thursday, "Sesame Street" is turning to fans to help it go the rest of the way. In a new video posted today, furry star "Telly" promises a secret video will be unlocked once the channel crosses the billion views mark.

Aside from underscoring the enduring popularity of the hit children's TV show, "Sesame Street" reaching one billion YouTube views is also good news for YouTube and parent company Google, which are promoting YouTube as a full-fledged alternative to broadcast. A spokesperson for YouTube EDU, the website's educational division, told The Associated Press that educational content was among YouTube's fastest growing categories.

YouTube's competitors Netflix and Amazon are also going after the kids' video market, both announcing their own original content series in recent weeks.

Separately, Google has touted its success at another educational project, reporting 2,000 Chromebooks in schools across the US as of the beginning of February. If Google continues to push into educational markets with hardware and content, it will be encroaching on Apple's turf, as Apple's long been a leader in educational computing and the iPad looks to be continuing in that vein.