YouTube originals gain ground with UK preschoolers

Researcher Childwise finds that original YouTube videos now rank among UK preschoolers' favorite content, for the first time ever.
October 4, 2018

The latest Monitor Preschool Report from independent market research agency Childwise reveals that, for the first time, original YouTube videos have┬ámade the list of UK preschoolers’ favorite content, especially nursery rhyme and educational-based videos. Top mentions were videos from Brit YouTube channel Little Baby Bum (pictured) and India’s ChuChuTV.

According to the new report, which surveyed more than 1,000 parents of kids ages zero to four about their children’s media use and parents’ spending habits, nearly half of all preschool households regularly access content through YouTube or the YouTube Kids app. YouTube is also preschoolers’ favorite app in all age and gender categories.

However, despite the increasing influence of YouTube and SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime on preschoolers, UK pubcaster CBeebies remains the most popular TV channel among this group.

The report also finds that preschoolers’ access to tablets, PCs, smartphones and laptops has risen to 75%, compared to 69% in 2017 and 42% in 2014. This year’s┬ápenetration is the highest since Childwise started publishing its preschool reports in 2014. And, for the first time in four years, there are more UK preschoolers with their own connected device than without (54%).

These findings mirror similar device preferences in older kids and teens in the UK. Earlier this year, Childwise revealed that personal devices overtook TV screens for the first time as the preferred way for five- to 16-year-olds in the UK to watch programs, videos and short clips.

As for time preschoolers spent watching content, boys watch for longer periods than girls, and the gap between the two has widened this year. However, both genders are watching for longer than ever before. In terms of daily watch time for online video content and television, preschoolers are watching nearly three hours, up from 2.6 hours last year and 2.4 hours in 2014.

Another interesting insight from the report is that preschoolers are more interested in gaming, with three out of 10 under-fives now regularly exposed to video games, not just as players, but as spectators, too. After a downward trend in recent years, the number of preschoolers with access to a gaming console at home increased from 21% last year to 30% in 2018.

In other notable results from the report, more than two-thirds of preschool households now own a voice-recognition gadget like Siri or Alexa, and more than a quarter use voice-recognition software.

Additionally, Childwise looked at spending and found that parents spend more than US$130 per month on average across nine spending categories including toys, clothing, footwear and days out. And despite higher activity around digital devices, there is an increase in the number of preschoolers participating in arts and crafts and going to the library this year.

The full report can be accessed here.

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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