Advanced Television

Study: Families gather around streamer shows

May 5, 2022

Findings from a study on the rise of family co-viewing among streaming audiences commissioned by ad-supported streaming specialist, Future Today, suggest that 94 per cent of parents have upped co-viewing in the last year.

“There is a misperception that the explosion in screens has created siloed TV viewing, with families watching from different devices and rooms,” notes Vikrant Mathur, Co-Founder, Future Today. “In reality, parents with younger children, in particular, are co-viewing more than ever. Co-viewing experiences help these families connect, while also allowing parents to more closely monitor media consumption for their children.”

Co-viewing refers to members of the same household watching television at the same time, together. Future Today’s study polled hundreds of US parents with children ages 3-12, and whose families regularly stream family-friendly content.

“Our findings indicate that co-viewing is growing in prevalence on streaming TV, as the purposeful viewing experience with choice and control lends itself to that activity,” added Mathur. “Families can make decisions together about what and when to view.”

Key findings from Future Today’s study include:

Streaming Co-viewing is Surging

Co-viewing of family-friendly streaming content has increased substantially amid Covid-19 and will continue to rise in the immediate term. Ninety-four per cent of parents said that they have been co-viewing more family-friendly streaming content in the last 12 months.

“For many, Covid-19 limited activities with friends and ultimately accelerated family co-viewing,” added Mathur. “Whether for entertainment or education, parents found themselves watching more programs with their children but co-viewing goes beyond the pandemic.”

When asked how their co-viewing habits might change in the future, especially as Covid-19 restrictions continue to lift, respondents said co-viewing is here to stay. Eighty-six percent reported that they plan to watch more content together with their families, debunking the common perception that co-viewing was a pandemic-only phenomenon.

Co-viewing Improves Ad Engagement

The growth in co-viewing streaming also presents an opportunity to CTV and OTT advertisers. In the US, AVoD viewership is expected to include nearly 60 per cent of all OTT users by the end of 2022. As programming is increasingly ad-supported, including family programming, brands can maximise reach and engagement through ‘co-viewers’.

“With co-viewing of streaming content more prominent, CTV and OTT can dramatically enhance campaign value for marketers, helping them reach the entire home on the largest screen,” added Mathur.

In Future Today’s study, they found that co-viewing boosts ad engagement, with 93 per cent of parents saying they are “engaged” when presented with an ad for adults while co-viewing. Further, 88 per cent of parents reported their children as being “engaged” while co-viewing adult-focused ads.

“Co-viewing leads to deeper engagement with ads and, as a result, higher performance,” added Mathur. “Ultimately, when family members are in a room watching together, it increases their attention, not just for programming, but for advertising, as well.”

Restaurants Most Preferred Ad Category

When parents were asked which advertising category families are comfortable co-viewing, restaurants led the pack, with 66 per cent, followed by travel (63 per cent), retail (62 per cent), electronics (58 per cent), and food (57 per cent).

“Our data suggests parents are comfortable with a range of different advertising genres,” said Mathur. “But advertisers that speak to family-based activities and experiences, like dining out and going on vacation, were more preferred.”


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