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They may only be little people, but kids – and particularly young kids – have a huge impact on in-home entertainment decisions. Across Europe and the US, their presence in a household means more non-linear TV, SVoD, apps and streaming sites are viewed, and more ‘baby-sitting electronics’ are owned. In this latest research, produced exclusively for MIPCOM-MIPJunior, Ampere Analysis asks how service providers, channel owners and content producers can meet the needs of kids.
According to Guy Bisson, Research Director, Ampere Analysis, the kids’ entertainment market is complex to research because it’s actually many audiences, each with very different content and device preferences. “It’s clear that young kids have by far the greatest influence on the in-home entertainment and device landscape, pushing these homes to the forefront of next-generation TV consumption. As a result, kids’ TV content owners have been leading developments around direct-to-consumer and app delivery as well as experimentation with content formats. Targeting these homes and young viewers successfully is an on-going challenge for channel owners, content producers and pay TV service providers.”
Key facts about kids and TV:
1. The tablet is king and has been embraced by both tiny tots and their parents. In Europe and the US young kids are more likely to have access to this TV-viewing device than any other age group. Unique research by Ampere Analysis shows 30 per cent of homes with young kids watch TV on a tablet daily or weekly. Short-form content is well-suited for tablets – as are apps – and everyone from content producers to channel owners will want to adapt to tablet to win young viewers.
2. Pay TV is still central to homes with kids. Homes with young and older kids are more likely than average to have pay TV and much more likely to have premium linear channels than average. This would be good news for traditional players except that these households are promiscuous and are far more likely to have changed pay TV service provider in the past six months, particularly in the US. However, although they change provider, they don’t tend to desert pay TV.
3. Disney, Sony and Sky channels are more highly rated for young kids. Ampere’s research suggests the major national broadcasters could service this audience better. By comparison, older kids rate the major national broadcasters and Fox channels much better than average.
4. Homes with young kids watch far less linear TV than any other demographic, but the move away from linear appears to be a life-stage trend rather than a fundamental shift as homes with older kids move back to linear TV, likely influenced by the greater desire to engage with transition and more adult content.
5. There’s strong demand for video apps from Netflix, Amazon, Google and YouTube in homes with young kids, but tweens and particularly teens disengage from them, migrating to social media entertainment and other channels. Providers would do well to fulfil the unmet demand Ampere has identified for content in homes with young kids and teenagers where locker, torrent, and live streaming are popular.
6. Kids have a voracious appetite for YouTube content and that content is getting more ‘TV-like’. The top 50 kids’ YouTube channels have 28,000 programmes representing almost 4,000 hours of viewing. And these leading channels are producing more than 20 pieces of content each per month – up 25 per cent since last year and four times the rate of 2014. Although the average length of content is 8.5 minutes now, the volume of compilation and longer-form video is growing.
7. Kids present new opportunities for content format and development with short form content and ancillary content opportunities opened up by the unique mix of devices and viewing behaviour in homes with younger children.
8. ‘Baby-sitting electronics’ have allowed for an interactive viewing experience. Devices such as tablets, games consoles, and smart phones offer an interactive, engaging one-to-one viewing experience. These ‘plonk and play’ devices are great at keeping young kids occupied. Content owners increasingly need to address the interactive viewing environment.
9. Viewing patterns change dramatically as kids mature, and our ‘viewing arc’ maps that progression. Homes with older children consume slightly more linear TV than the average home. ‘Tweens’ have less influence on viewing on the main TV, have less exposure to pay TV on-demand services, and are less engaged in social media and apps. By 18-24 years however a dramatic shift away from linear TV occurs – and young adults become ‘lost’ to traditional media.
10. Kids’ content is one of the ‘Holy Trinity’ of genres rated most highly by users of SVoD services, Ampere’s content quality rating shows. Between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of all SVoD content is aimed at kids, and recently pure-play SVoD players including Netflix and Amazon have been adding more kids’ content to their libraries. But they won’t want to forget the parents. Ampere’s analysis shows that homes with young children over-index on lifestyle, reality and gameshows, and indie and arthouse content categories, all of which are complementary genres for young families.
Bisson notes that whatever their age, from tiny tots to teenagers, kids are demanding viewers. “They want quality content, great stories and fresh ideas. They also want a one-to-one experience, and increasingly an interactive one. Content can originate from anywhere from the traditional players to pure-play SVoD and beyond to digital shorts, apps and games. This is a competitive, fast-paced sector and one where a passion for quality programming, building brand trust with parents, and understanding kids are key to success,” he concludes.