Home Newswire Parent and child co-viewing is alive and well, and advertisers benefit

Parent and child co-viewing is alive and well, and advertisers benefit

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A new report published by nScreenMedia with the support of WildBrain Spark (a digital media company that streams family & kids programming using an AVOD model via YouTube and YouTube Kids), shows that multiscreen TV has not killed family co-viewing, with three-quarters of U.S. parents saying they watch TV with their children several times a week or more. 29% of parents have daily co-viewing sessions with their children. The report is based on a survey of 3,000 U.S. adults at the end of October 2020. Survey participants had to be weekly streamers with at least one child under 12-years-old.

Two-thirds of respondents expect the time they spend with their kids watching TV/movies to stay the same or increase once the pandemic is over. Not surprisingly, the most popular device for co-viewing is the television. The report has good news for advertisers targeting young families and media owners who can offer that audience. Nine out of ten parents say free ad-supported content is somewhat or very important to them, and the same number say they allow their children to watch with ads.

The study shows the influence children have both on the choice of viewing and on purchase decisions for advertised goods. Half of the parents say their child mostly chooses what they are going to watch together, with only 12% of parents mostly or always choosing what to watch in the co-viewing session. And when asked how their kids react when ads are shown during their co-viewing sessions, the results are positive for advertisers.

15% of parents said there was no difference in the attention level shown by their child to the television. 35% said the child sometimes or frequently pays more attention while 22% said they sometimes or frequently pay less attention. 15% of parents said their co-viewing children sometimes pay attention to the ads and sometimes don’t, and 13% said the child usually lost interest.

The report notes that more than half of parents say their children hold significant sway in how they spend money in various product categories. For example, 70% say kids influence spending on non-TV entertainment, 62% over food delivery, and 55% over technology. Two-thirds of parents say their child’s preferences often led them to buy or research a product in the previous six months. 4-in-10 say such purchases and research “occurred regularly or very often”.

There was also an interesting difference between which parents the children can influence the most, with men more likely to be led by the views of their children. The report states: “In every purchase category we asked our survey group about, women say they are much less likely to be influenced by their children than men. For example, in technology purchases, 19% of women say their children are very influential versus 44% of men. In groceries, 25% of women admit to being very influenced by their children, versus 42% of men.”

The report contains many interesting datapoints, including YouTube’s central place in the lives of young families and a relative lack of trust in social media stars (with that distrust higher in lower income homes versus higher income homes). It shows that cartoons remain an enduring favourite, with 67% of children watching them frequently or regularly. The report found that the most popular co-viewing times on weekdays are 6am-9am followed by 6-9pm. On weekends the best time to catch parent/child co-viewing is 6-9am followed closely by 9am to noon.

The report is authored by Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst at nScreenMedia and was released in Q4 2020. WildBrain Spark, which sponsored the research, manages 800 channels of kids and family content on YouTube and has 220,000 videos under management, with 200m subscribers (on YouTube and YouTube Kids). The company says it provides a highly curated and brand-safe environment.


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