Kid Insight

On-demand viewing by UK preteens keeps growing

Research from MediaCom has found that a third of Brit preteens are now most likely to watch TV on-demand, a 70% increase since 2017.
October 24, 2018

London-based ad agency MediaCom has found in a new study that 94% of all Brit kids ages eight to 19 have access to an on-demand streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. And as more kids in the region turn to SVODs for their entertainment needs, the majority of that growth is being driven by preteens (ages eight to 12).

The report from MediaCom’s research division Real World Insight, Connected Kids Trend Watch 2018, includes data from 1,201 kids, preteens and teens across the UK. It reveals that 34% of preteens in the region are most likely to watch TV on-demand, a significant jump from 20% last year. Nearly half of teens are exhibiting the same tendancy (46% compared to 38% in 2017).

The number of kids ages eight to 19 watching TV live, meanwhile, continues to decrease, with 30% reporting this is their go-to viewing option (compared to 43% in 2015).

Netflix held onto its top spot as the most-used streaming service for teens, with 66% having access to the SVOD platform. This is up from 53% in 2017 and 50% in 2016. The other most commonly used streamers with Brit teens are Amazon Prime Video (38%) and NowTV (20%).

The study also shows that the majority of preteens (68%) own smartphones, but this number soars for kids 13 and older (95%). Watching TV on mobile devices is also increasing, with 35% of the eight to 19 group regularly watching TV or movies on their phones (up from 21% in 2015). Tablets, however, were less popular with teens—56% of kids 13 and older own a tablet, compared to 65% of preteens.

In the smart speaker space, 23% of kids, preteens and teenagers in the UK have access to devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Of those with access, 55% use them on a daily basis. The data also indicates that preteens (63%) are more likely than teens ages 13 to 16 (56%) or 17 to 19 (37%) to use smart speakers every day. The most common tasks keeping smart speakers busy include requesting music, searching for information and getting weather updates.

Recent data from youth and family research firm Smarty Pants recently revealed that kid affinity for streaming services and mobile phones in the US is growing, with YouTube, Netflix and iPhone named as some of the most popular brands in the company’s 2018 Brand Love Study.

About The Author
Elizabeth Foster is Kidscreen's Copy Chief & Special Reports Editor. Contact Elizabeth at


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