Report Finds Children Spend More Time Online Than Watch TV


A report today by research agency, Childwise has found that children and young people are now spending more time online than watching TV.  Childwise has described this as a ‘landmark change’ in viewing habits and it certainly looks like the shape of things to come in terms of viewing habits and the way that media and entertainment is consumed.  There are statistics in the US that show that young people are spending more time watching online content than traditional TV but this is one of the first times that this trend has been shown in the United Kingdom.

While a lot of the viewing statistics point towards online streaming channels such as Netflix the number one website that young people are logging onto is YouTube and they are choosing to watch their entertainment on their own terms in their own time rather than being restricted to TV schedules.  It also points to what they are watching, conventional TV programmes have given way to different types of content whether it be user generated content or some of the YouTube only created channels such as the likes of film review channel Cinemasins or comedy channel PewDiePie.

So what is the impact of this change in user and viewing habits?  Well, while this looks at what children and young people are doing, it shows where the next generation of consumers will be getting their information and entertainment.  Video is already a preferred medium for information gathering for many but as viewing habits develop and change, channles such as YouTube will soon become second nature to the consumer and will be an expected medium as a resource on websites, social media and more.

The challenge that will face many brands who use video as a marketing tool will be content.  As consumers watch more and more videos they will become increasingly discerning in what they choose to watch meaning that, as we already know, content will be crucial.  It doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the straight forward corporate video promo but it does mean that getting creative and really thinking about what your audience wants to see will become crucial to the success of your video campaign.  Many brands are already thinking about the crossover from pure sales/selling video content into entertainment and content that engages with the viewer rather than trying to convey brand messages and simply talking at their viewers.  Adidas Football on YouTube creates videos like this and this to engage with their audience first and sell second and this is the type of content that are drawing young audiences away from TV and online instead.

As Childwise described it, these findings really are a ‘landmark change’ and it heralds an exciting future for video and the marketing opportunities that come with it.  The children and young people in this study really are the consumers of tomorrow and companies of all sizes would do well to acknowledge where consumers will go to, to get their information, entertainment and more.

To read the article about the research on the BBC website click here.

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