Children's TV viewership falls 15%

February 4, 2019

A recent report from Ofcom, “Why children spend time online” has revealed key insights into the online video viewing behaviour of young children, aged 5-15 in the UK. While 2017 saw this demographic spend an average of 2 hours and 11 minutes per day watching TV content, this fell 15 percent down to 1 hour and 52 minutes in 2018.

A large portion of online viewing was dominated by YouTube, but the study finds that this demographic was drawn to that platform for reasons separate to the quality of the content. Watching tutorials relating to hobbies, vloggers for insights into their lives as well as the community and role model aspects, and sensory videos which include satisfying noises are among the most popular sources of YouTube video content that these children watched in 2018. Another factor in the appeal of YouTube is personal freedom of choice due to Linear TV viewing tending to be ‘parent-led’ group viewing.

Netflix was the second most popular destination of choice for online media consumption amongst these children – a far more conventional and less community-driven OTT service. Netflix has some of the same advantages as YouTube over linear TV, which are innate to all OTT platforms. They are free to choose what they want to watch and when from an expansive library of content. The portability of smaller platforms allows for private viewing time.

A further third of pre-schoolers aged 3-4 now watch subscription on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video – a huge proportion for such a young demographic and an indication of the desires and expectations of a near future generation.

Recent warnings from a Bank of America analyst about the underestimated pace of decline in linear TV consumption is especially evident in the light of these Ofcom findings. This group, which is ultimately the future, has embraced online and on-demand content with speed and ferocity. This is why it is now more important than ever for rights holders and broadcasters to provide platforms by which their content can be accessed in new ways to satisfy the new demands of audiences.

With the movement of young viewers onto a more on-demand way of content consumption in mind, we worked with Sony Kids to develop a platform in order to fulfil the needs of this segment, and minimise any additional workload, including:

If you would like to discover how we can help you to expand your audience into the next generation, there has never been a better time to get in contact.