Recent research from Childwise was widely reported this month as a ‘landmark change’ in the habits of young people, as they now spend more time playing and socialising online than watching television programmes. Children claim to spend 3 hours online each day, compared with 2.1 hours watching television. Unhelpfully for advertisers the results were reported as ‘online is up and TV is down’, as if substitution of time spent (and affection, by implication) has occurred, and out of the blue as well. However, with TV now being such an integral element of online usage there is much more to the story, and the implications for advertisers are very different to what the headlines have suggested.
On the face of it, there has been a small decline in kids’ linear viewing to total TV…but this masks what is really going on via TV sets. If we dig a bit deeper into industry data (i.e. the rigorously-measured variety) we see a different picture emerging:
(a) growth in viewing to pay TV kids content on linear TV
(b) growth in viewing to VoD and catch-up via the TV set
(c) an increase in all activities via the TV set (including games consoles)
Overall indications from the most robust, continuous research sources are that kids’ viewing of broadcast content – whether via TVs or other devices – has never been stronger. As access to technology goes from strength to strength, and ever-better content is produced, broadcast TV will continue to be a core element in children’s lives. It follows that kids-orientated advertisers would be well advised to explore TV further: TV is the safest, most effective and most popular medium, viewed on TVs, online and on the go.
Finally if this subject is of interest to you, Lindsey Clay’s (CEO, Thinkbox) lively assessment of the Childwise report is well worth a read:
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