Marketers who want to learn about reaching kids and their
families who watch TV together should check out a new study commissioned by The
Hub Network and conducted by PlayScience.
The study focuses on kids 6-12 years old, but unlike most
studies, it did not simply include data collected from self-reported surveys.
Instead, researchers set up cameras on top of TVs in rooms to observe who was
present in the room and what devices viewers were multitasking with. The survey
also included in-home observation.
The three-phase study involved 20 in-home ethnographies of
families with kids 6-12 in the first phase. A three-day photo analysis of TV
viewing, where cameras were placed on top of the main TV of the same 20
families, which took photos of the room every five minutes, was part of the
second phase. And the third phase involved a 10-day interactive diary of family
TV viewing in which 234 families participated in the study that examined when,
who, what and how families watch TV.
The study found that families with kids are early adopters
of technologies, and within families, kids are the biggest early adopters. It
also found that despite an increase in the popularity of tablets and
smartphones, TV is still the dominant viewing device among families with young
kids. While 13% of kid TV viewing is on smartphones or iPods, 28% of that
content is most likely short clips, and 18% is cartoons.
There are few gender differences when it comes to consuming
content, the study found. "A kid is a kid," with no difference in genre
watching by gender, it stated, with 20% of kids' TV watching being cartoons, and
15% being other types of kids programming.
Moms let kids control the remote, so kids tend to tune into
more cartoons and other children's programming while watching with mom. About
50% of moms-with-kid viewing is cartoons and kid TV.
Dads are more likely to control the remote when watching
with kids, and they tend to introduce them to non-children's programming such
as sports, news and reality shows. About 25% of dad viewing with kids is made
up of programming in those genres.
When families watch TV together, they tend to watch for
longer periods of time, with 26% watching for over two hours at a time.
Family viewing is more likely to occur between 5 p.m. and 8
p.m., with 35%-45% of viewing during those hours being co-viewing.
The two programming genres families most watch together are
movies and cartoons, followed by reality TV and other non-animated kids
programming, the latter two of which tied for third.
The study found that 25% of the content viewed as a family
is movies, followed by 16% for cartoons. Nostalgia shows are popular with
parents and are also entertaining for kids, and parents are likely to sit down
and watch that genre with their kids.
Great family programming is not just defined by what's on
the screen; study participants said what's also important is content that can
generate conversation among family members. The study found that when watching
as a family, parents tend to choose content that will encourage conversation
Complete results from The Hub Network Family Viewing
Report will be shared with marketers.