WildBrain Spark has published The Streaming Generation: Shaping the Future of Family Advertising, a new study completed in partnership with Ipsos MORI that explores the influence of Generation Alpha, the first fully digital cohort of kids.
The report also charts how the generation’s viewing habits and preferences impact purchasing decisions in U.S. households. It explores key family and kids’ viewing trends, looking closely at what they watch and when, how and why they do so and how it shapes brand preferences and purchasing decisions.
The research highlights how kids and families are continuing to co-view long-form content on large-screen TVs, but increasingly switching to streamed content from SVOD and AVOD platforms. The results further highlight the growing importance of AVOD platforms for brands and IP owners looking to reach kids and families, and how Generation Alpha and their parents are navigating the amount of content available to them on demand.
Key findings from The Streaming Generation: Shaping the Future of Family Advertising include smart TVs remaining the top choice for families when watching children’s shows, films, videos and clips together, with nearly half (46 percent) of parents doing so. The Covid-19 pandemic has given adults more time to watch TV with their children and in general, with 81 percent of U.S. families watching kids’ content together several times a week or more and 44 percent doing so daily. The “together” trend is set to continue, as 84 percent of parents say the time spent watching with their children is expected to be more, or the same, in the next year.
AVOD services YouTube and YouTube Kids combined is in second place in the list of the most-watched streaming services by children (66 percent), closely behind Netflix (69 percent). Approximately a quarter of parents say it’s not very, or not at all likely, they’ll be watching linear TV services in the next year, while around seven in ten parents are expecting time spent watching both SVOD and AVOD services in the next 12 months to remain the same or increase.
Three in five parents (58 percent) said their children’s viewing preferences have led them to research or buy a product very often, or occasionally, in the six months leading up to June 2021. A third (33 percent) of all parents admitted the extent to which their children ask for something always increases when they have seen an ad for it.
The top-five content themes parents would like to see more of are: nature and animal conservation (45 percent), anti-bullying/cyber-bullying (37 percent), global cultures (35 percent), race and cultural diversity (34 percent) and mental health (33 percent).
Nearly two-thirds of parent respondents (64 percent) agree they choose content for their children that reminds them of their childhood, while 62 percent of parents agree they choose programs that they used to watch as a kid. Other factors influencing content choices were programs that “make us laugh” (83 percent) and “make us happy” (82 percent), with 63 percent seeking out something to “help me forget about my everyday problems.”
The research was conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of WildBrain Spark. Interviews in the U.S. were conducted online among 2,009 parents and guardians of children aged 2 to 12, and among 1,000 parents and guardians in the U.K. with children the same age. All data in the report relates to U.S. children and their families unless otherwise stated.
Jon Gisby, executive VP and managing director at WildBrain Spark, said: “These compelling findings not only show the dominance of streaming amongst kids and families particularly on AVOD platforms but also highlight the ever-growing influence of Generation Alpha in the digital home. It’s evident that co-viewing on a big TV screen is a trend that’s here to stay, with families demonstrating a clear leaning towards meaningful, educational and socially driven content they can experience together. This data provides important insights relevant to brand owners, marketers and advertisers who need to ensure they are reaching Gen A and their families via premium content on AVOD platforms. Being a positive part of their world through both the shows families watch and the ads they see is going to be key to any family brand’s success.”