Parents are increasingly watching content with their children according to a new survey put together by insights, strategy and creative agency Kids Industries, which has put together a global study looking at media habits of 5,000 families across 10 countries and six continents. 

With the amount of content exploding – in the UK alone, Amazon, Netflix, Now TV aand Disney+ offer more than 40,000 choices – parents are playing an increasing role in choices and engagement and quality are the most important facts. The research, among more than 20,000 family members, showed the average family has 6.1 devices and 5.1 subscriptions. 

Other highlights include the fact children are watching as much live TV as streamed – 53% view the former at least once a week versus 55% watching the latter. Co-viewing is growing – four years ago almost three quarters of parents watched with their kids at least once a month, now 73% view with their offspring at least hald the time.

KI CEO and co-founder Gary Pope said: “There is a risk associated with this. Too much choice, delivered too quickly at too low a quality will struggle to build a supportive and invested fanbase – a community that will invest in merchandise, experiences and more.

“Both linear and streamed content have something to offer children. But, in my opinion, linear is gaining momentum because of trust. It offers a viewership moment even if it’s not as frequent as streaming does, making an ‘event’ something to look forward to, something to anticipate. A programme becomes a special moment for families meaning franchise and fandom are able to flourish.  

The research shows that the biggest concern for parents is “negative” medi nd trying to ensure children watch product their elders can trust. It is beijng officially launched at KI’s Global Family Conference in London on March 21. 

Pope concluded: “Our first share of the research findings focuses on trends in the streaming space and reveals how today, forming a connection to content is fundamental for a programme’s success. In the fragmented world of children’s media, this is becoming both more important and yet more scarce than ever.  

“In a time where our research shows that 89% of 3–5-year-olds can navigate a smartphone, but only 14% can tie their shoelaces, we can see how models are shifting right before our eyes. Brands that aren’t building fans in significant numbers connected to the stories they tell, should be concerned. 

“It’s clear that for children, content consumption has become the main free time activity, ahead of any type of active play. We’re not going to be able to change this, so we need to (and we have a responsibility to) make sure that the content we create for these audiences is as nutritious as it is possible to be. 

“There are a range of tactics and strategies that children’s media producers can do to ensure they connect meaningfully with families right around the world. We’ll cover these in depth at our conference in March, but they include developing content that can be shared between generations through storytelling and humour, building a lifestyle brand universe (not just entertainment) and making emotional connections as the virtual and real-world crosser over via shared experiences.” 

The Global Family event takes place on March 21, spaces are strictly limited and you can register interest here

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