Research: 52% kids multi-task while watching TV

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As new video platforms continue to proliferate and entertainment trends evolve, children are consuming increasing amounts of content from a wider variety of sources, and often multi-tasking to fit more in, according to the latest Kids Tech consumer survey results from Futuresource Consulting. The research, covering children aged three to 16 across Brazil, China, France, Germany, Mexico, the UK and the US, explores entertainment consumption trends, social media interaction, gaming and device usage.

Multi-tasking is becoming the norm for entertainment consumption, with 52 per cent of children in the survey saying they engage with another device while watching TV. Of these, 61 per cent play video games, 32 per cent watch video on a second screen and 28 per cent are on social media.

“Children are constantly finding more time for entertainment consumption,” advises Carl Hibbert, Associate Director at Futuresource Consulting. “From watching online video, to playing video games; from consuming music, to interacting with social media, the hours of engagement continue to climb. And with a finite number of hours available, something has to give. In many instances, focus is being traded for quantity, and this is a rising concern and challenge for content owners and advertisers.”

Despite a rise in non-video activities, this does not seem to be cannibalising TV viewing on a large scale. Linear TV is still reported as the most popular viewing platform in China, France and Germany across all age ranges, with free online video becoming increasingly important for kids of 11 and above. In the UK and US, SVoD and free online video consumption is becoming comparable to that of free linear TV. In Brazil and Mexico, there is a significant migration towards new media, with free online video the most popular viewing platform across all ages.

When children are deciding how and what to watch, ease of operation is the main driver behind platform choice. 45 per cent of parents stated ease of use was the main feature as to why their child used a specific platform. It ranked number one across kids that used linear TV, free online video and transactional video services, ahead of the quantity of content available recognised/preferred brand and safer content.

“The challenge for industry and advertisers is how to cut through the noise and make sure their messages reach the target audience,” suggests Hibbert. “With so much dilution of attention, it’s not an easy task, but it does present a foothold for savvy brands to climb to the top. Connecting with young consumers means building a better strategy through understanding their motivations and exploring their approach to consumption. As an example, our survey shows that children who interact with TikTok, the free social media app that lets you watch, create, and share short videos, are looking for a combination of consumption and creation. Forty-nine per cent of parents commented that their children use TikTok to upload their own video content. With the right mix of content, market information and cross platform investment, there’s a world of opportunity.”


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