This week, we're looking at digital video viewers. Each day, we'll feature a different demographic to better understand how various age groups engage with video. First up: kids and teens.
While kids are not likely to own a smartphone or have a large social media presence, video dominates their digital activity.
This year, we expect 24.2 million kids—those ages 11 and younger—will watch digital video. And by the end of the forecasting period—2020—that number will grow to 25.7 million.
Kids rely heavily on both YouTube and Netflix for their digital entertainment. According to a June 2018 survey from Smarty Pants that identifies brands considered most popular among US households with children ages 6-12, YouTube ranked No. 1 and Netflix, No. 2. This tops any toy, candy or video game brand in the study.
However, this digital captivation concerns parents. An October 2018 survey from Open Mind Strategy found that roughly two-thirds (65%) of millennial parents would “rather [their] kid watch TV than be online.” Allison O’Keefe Wright, Open Mind's executive vice president and managing director of research and strategy said parents worry about kids' digital use because “they're just skipping from one piece of content to the next and could potentially stumble upon almost anything.”
Understandably, with greater autonomy and growing smartphone ownership, teens’ spend more of their time with smart devices.
Just like kids, teens also really like Netflix and YouTube. “YouTube’s importance is evident in the evolution of content it presents for teens,” eMarketer senior analyst Mark Dolliver noted in his October 2018 report, Digital Life of US Teens.
For the most part, this group turns to YouTube to watch short-form, user-generated content, professionally made teen-targeted shows and music videos.
With increasing digital video viewership among teens, a decline in traditional TV viewership is not surprising. This year, we expect 23.3 million teens—ages 12 to 17—to engage with digital video. This growth remains steady throughout 2019.
By contrast, 22.5 million teens will watch traditional TV this year—which we define as TV viewers who watch live or recorded video on a television set at least once a month. And that number will continue to decrease year over year.
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