TV content has been a crucial outlet for kids and teens over the last year. It is often said that today’s kids and teens “don’t watch TV” but actually they rely upon it to entertain, alleviate boredom and provide much-needed escapism.
Kids’ and teens’ content consumption overall has never been so large but equally hugely fragmented, as they seek out relatable content and connect with their peers across gaming, video and social platforms. TikTok and Roblox for example, have seen huge growth.
But despite such fragmentation, TV remains an essential part of their lives. When asked how they like to watch content, on-demand platforms such as YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ top the list for both UK and US kids – and all have collectively increased in preference over the last year.
Disney+ recently announced it has surpassed 100 million subscribers globally and thanks to our unique research tools, which allow us to survey 3.5million kids and teens in the US and UK each month, we've been able to track the impact Disney+ has had over the last year.
Disney+ has in fact, had little impact on Netflix’s dominance for Gen Alpha and Gen Z, with a third of kids and teens consistently opting to watch the streaming service at home in their spare time.
Netflix’s huge catalogue and seasonal drops of new content has made it the big winner throughout Covid. It has fed kid's desire for both binging and newness with old favourites such as H20 and Richie Rich mentioned by our Trendspotters, alongside new releases such as We Can Be Heroes and Cobra Kai.
YouTube has been a stalwart for kids and teens but with Netflix holding strong, Disney+ has begun to chip away at its dominance. Whereas preference for Netflix has remained constant, YouTube preference has declined since the Disney+ launch.
Why has Disney+ not been able to compete with Netflix for kids and teens? Despite a really strong launch, providing something new when everyone was stuck at home it hasn’t been able to compete with Netflix’s catalogue.
Kids and teens gorged the content really quickly, particularly the classic content they associate with the Disney brand. Our Trendspotters have reported that many have cancelled their subscriptions feeling they’ve watched everything.
“In quarantine, where I used to be using Disney+ a lot, I haven’t really been doing that much as I’ve watched all my childhood favourites now.” Kiah - 16
And despite big series launches such as The Mandalorian, our Trendspotters report using the service on a switch on/switch off basis for its releases such as Soul and then dip into classic Disney channel series like Jessie.
However, as kids and teens follow content across streaming platforms, it is ultimately depth and breadth of content that will win out.
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