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5 future predictions to prepare for now…

AI influencers, whole-family education, 3D printing in stores, purpose-led marketing and kidfluencers joining the IP ownership debate.
December 8, 2021

According to a new “2022 Future Forecast” report from The Insights Family, we might soon be seeing a lot more educational content for the whole family and in-store 3D printing.

The UK-based research company surveyed more than 300,000 kids and their parents to make 15 predictions about what the new year could have in store for us. Some of their forecasts are familiar refrains (i.e. eSports will keep growing, and brands will continue to move into the direct-to-consumer space), but there are a few brand-new ones that could affect the kids business in a big way.

1. Influencers will get less real

Move over, imaginary friends—the next generation of trusted kid companions could be AI influencers. ResearchAndMarkets is estimating that the influencer market will be valued at US$85 billion by 2028. And as AI, personalization and robot technology becomes more advanced, it’s likely to push the boundaries in this space. The Insights Family predicts that kidcos could soon be able to create content that lets kids integrate their AI friends into branded games and products.

2. 3D printing to find a home in stores

Driven by a growing penchant for personalization, the 3D printing industry is expected to increase in value to US$63.46 billion by 2026, according to market research firm Mordor Intelligence. The tech has certainly become more accessible in the kids space over the last few years, with companies like Toybox Labs inking licensing deals to let kids print their favorite characters at home. And The Insights Family says the next step in this evolution will see 3D printing make its way into toy stores so that young shoppers can print their own action figures, dolls and collectibles, and even bring their social media and gaming avatars to life.

3. Education won’t just be for kids anymore

With whole families becoming much more involved in e-learning during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that parents and caregivers want in on the action, too. The Insights Family is forecasting a boom in content and experiences focused on teaching the whole family new things like coding and math. To accommodate this dual demand, edtech products will have to become more personalized—grandma and grandchild will be coming at these topics from very different expertise levels, after all.

4. Make room for kids in the IP ownership debate

Industry discussion about IP ownership, specifically how much creators should have, is gaining traction in kids entertainment circles. And a crop of new studios have been launching with a mandate to give talent a bigger stake in their properties. As kidfluencers and younger creatives start making revenue and attracting audiences with their personal projects, the industry will need to welcome them to the table or risk being cut out entirely.

5. Purpose-led marketing will take over

It’s evident that kids are tuned into what’s happening in the world, but their interest in current events is also starting to influence their purchase decisions in meaningful ways. Younger consumers are moving away from buying things their friends, family and blogs are talking about, opting instead to support products that are safe, socially conscious and driven by community, according to The Insights Family. Trust is the fourth biggest factor at play in purchase decisions, so brands should focus on being transparent and ethical in order to attract families.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at rtuchow@brunico.com



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