There’s been a recent surge in co-viewing that isn’t just pandemic-driven, and it’s expected to endure even after COVID-19 passes, according to new research from WildBrain Spark and TV industry analyst nScreenMedia.
The number of kids who have their own device has increased, but in spite of that, 75% of the 3,000 parents surveyed by TV industry analyst nScreenMedia said they watch video content with their children several times a week or more. This is true across genders, demographics and income levels, according to the companies’ “Making Screen Time Family Time” report.
Once the pandemic ends, 66% of parents expect the time they spend watching content with their kids will either stay the same or increase. More than half of parents (62%) said the most popular devices for co-viewing are smart TVs, and 48% of them are using one. WildBrain Spark also notes that families watch content longer when it’s through a connected TV, compared to a mobile device, tablet or computer.
The survey found that the most popular platforms for co-viewing are YouTube Kids and PBS KIDS, with 50% of parents reporting that their children use those platforms exclusively. YouTube is also a dominant force in the content landscape, with 95% of participants saying that at least one person in their family uses it. YouTube Kids was also the most popular online streaming service amongst the survey’s respondents, with 52% of kids using it. (PBS KIDS came in second at 46%.) Following behind that is Kidstream with 22%, and Noggin at 21%. Boomerang, DreamWorks TV and Hoopla rounded out the responses with 15% each.
A year after its launch, Disney+ has emerged as another big audience winner. Almost three-quarters of parents surveyed reported that their families use Disney+. Its competitors, including Apple TV+, have not yet built out a large enough library of kids content to compete for the family audience like Disney+ has, according to the report.
Kids are usually the deciding voice in what families watch while co-viewing, with 50% of parents saying their child mostly chooses what they watch. But that power also extends to non-entertainment purchases. Seven in 10 parents say they buy products or services for their kids related to a favorite show or character, while 66% of parents say their kids’ preferences have led them to buy or research a product in the last three to six months.
WildBrain Spark commissioned the report from nScreenMedia, which spent September and October surveying 3,000 US adults who have kids under age 12 and also stream content at least once a week.