Study: SVOD & video app brands most popular with kids

Behind YouTube, streaming services, photo-video apps and gaming products are among the most popular brands with kids, according to youth and family research firm Smarty Pants.
July 19, 2018

As part of its 2018 Brand Love Study, youth and family research firm Smarty Pants has found that YouTube is the most popular brand among US kids ages six to 12 ahead of streaming giant Netflix, iPhone, McDonald’s, and XBox, to name a few of the top-50 contenders.

YouTube also dethrones last year’s most popular brand, Addictive Fidget Spinners, which spun out of this year’s top 50.

With Netflix as the second most-popular brand (up from fourth last year), it may only be a matter of time before the rapidly growing SVOD reaches the top. As for other SVODs, Amazon fell eight spots from 32 to 40, while Hulu entered the list at 42 after an absence last year. The YouTube Kids app, meanwhile, dropped from 34th to 45th.

Looking at photo-video sharing apps, Snapchat fell from 19th to 28th while Instagram became the 27th most popular brand after not making the top 50 in 2017. As for Google, its popularity increased from seventeenth to tenth. The Apple iPhone also continues to prove how important it is in kids’ lives as the third most popular brand. Facebook, however, fell out of the list after claiming the 35th spot last year.

On the gaming front, meanwhile, Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation ranked ninth and  fifteenth, respectively. Nintendo’s hugely successful hybrid console Switch is also leaving a big impression on kids, making the list at 21 (up from 28 last year).

From a software perspective, one of 2018’s biggest new game phenoms, Fortnite, placed eleventh. Online multiplayer game platform Roblox also cracked the list in 46th place, but Minecraft took a stumble dropping from 20th to 38th. Embattled retailer GameStop held steady at 37.

Looking at linear kidsnets, Disney Channel sits at 19, Cartoon Network at 30 and Nickelodeon at 32. In terms of fast food and candy brands, McDonald’s placed fourth (up eight spots versus 2017), while Oreos and M&M’s were fifth and sixth, respectively.

Disney’s Marvel also continues to be popular with kids with Avengers and Black Panther falling in at 24 and 31, respectively. Star Wars, though, did not make the top-50 this year after placing 31st in 2017.

The data in full is below:

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at



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