What are the kids watching?

It’s becoming the holy grail for advertisers targeting children – everyone’s convinced that kids’ media consumption is changing, but few have got the solid facts and data to support the big budget decisions. Do you stay true to TV, with its tried and tested measurement or switch significant budget online?

Most agree that TV still plays a big part in kids’ lives, but it’s undeniable that the older they get the more their online and second screen viewing behaviours are evolving and for some occasions even taking over.

Today’s children have not grown up with any kind of traditional idea of how to watch TV – for them there are simply favourite shows and programmes and you can get access to them from a variety of platforms and devices, all perfectly natural and intuitive, whenever you want.  Or rather for the younger ones, whenever you’re allowed to.

In a recent study, we analysed children’s TV and online viewing behaviours in a variety of western European countries and in North America.  What emerged was a surprising picture of how strong TV viewing remains – kids are still tuning in with an appointment to view mentality, switching through kids channels to follow the schedule and catch their favourite shows.  In Europe watching TV is also a highly social activity involving friends and siblings, whereas North America reveals a much more solitary event.  VOD, catch-up tv, kids channel sites and youtube certainly have a role in watching back favourite shows or looking for extra content, and the ability to navigate the smart TV, laptop or tablet are well engrained even amongst 5 and 6 year olds.

For many advertisers, this leaves a problem however – how can you invest most effectively in online TV to complement the more traditional broadcast TV?  How can you determine when the extra bit of reach or additional frequency is really worth the added investment?  And shouldn’t we be thinking in any case of the unique role and potential that online offers – for children directly, but also importantly for reaching or retargeting their parents – many of whom after all still hold the essential purse strings when it comes to purchase decisions.

Our approach is sympathetic to real family dynamics and behaviours and fully compliant with all guidelines to interview parents and their children on viewing and media consumption behaviours. If you’d like to understand more about the children you’re trying to engage, we’d love to discuss our approach and methodology with you.

To find out more about experience with researching children and their media habits, contact Rob.