NEW RESEARCH COMMISSIONED BY WILDBRAIN IDENTIFIES CO-GAMING, MOM-GAMERS AND FAMILY BONDING AS TOP TRENDS FOR BRAND OWNERS LOOKING TO REACH FAMILIES
WildBrain’s new research report, “THE FAMILY MEDIAVERSE: Building Bonds Through Shared Entertainment”, commissioned from Savanta, reveals new trends around where and why families consume content and suggests omni-platform media strategies across gaming and streaming are strongest for engaging kids, teens and parents
- Parents are very present in the gaming space with half of moms (53%) playing video games with their children aged 6-8 years old
- Gaming and streaming have hugely symbiotic roles, with 72% of US Roblox gamers getting ideas on how to play Roblox from YouTube and vice versa
- Co-viewing on connected and smart TVs continues to grow as a trend, with 81% of US and 78% of UK families co-viewing several days a week, often daily
- Parents co-view and co-game to relax with their children, say 75% in US and 74% in UK, with bonding and ‘to spend time’ also popular reasons
Toronto, ON – February 1, 2024 – WildBrain, a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment, has launched the results of new research which highlights the evolving habits of kids and family audiences and how they consume content. The new research, titled “THE FAMILY MEDIAVERSE: Building Bonds Through Shared Entertainment”, was commissioned by WildBrain and produced by research company Savanta. It explores the entertainment habits of families, how and why parents, kids and teens use gaming platforms like Roblox, and examines the crucial intersection between gaming and streaming to identify key trends for brand owners.
The research, which surveyed over 6,800 participants in the US and UK*, highlights co-gaming emerging as a key trend with parents and kids, and that co-viewing video on-demand content on Connected TV (CTV) remains a strong and growing pillar of family behaviour. The data also shows that kids and teens are actively curating their own “omni-platform” content experiences seamlessly across streaming and gaming platforms and devices, suggesting the need for brands to respond to this in their media strategies. This strongly symbiotic behaviour around content streaming and gaming, with parents both co-viewing and co-gaming, also points to opportunities for brands to reach a parent audience who value seeing real-life brands on these platforms.
The findings also reveal that the reasons behind co-viewing and co-gaming share a close similarity, with 63% of parents who co-game with their child choosing ‘to spend quality time’ as a core reason to play, and 56% of parents who co-game with their child age 6-15 also opting for ‘to make fun memories’ as a reason they played with them. This echoes what parents feel about co-viewing, with relaxing together cited as the most popular reason for co-viewing, citing 75% of US and 74% of UK parents choosing watching content together ‘to relax’ as the top reason for co-viewing. More than half of parents and their children also saw co-viewing as part of a wind-down routine before bed. Over half of US (56%) and UK (52%) respondents agreeing this was one of the preferred times they watched content together.
Kate Smith, WildBrain’s Executive Vice President of Audience Engagement, said: “We know that parents co-view with their children to a huge extent, but the revelation in this new data is that parents, and in particular moms, are also actively participating on gaming platforms like Roblox. Parents are using co-playing time to bond with their kids and to relax, not simply to monitor them.
“We’ve identified this new area of audience behaviour as ‘The Family Mediaverse’—the landscape where the intersection of video and gaming is fuelled by family desire for togetherness. Adopting omni-platform marketing strategies that tap into the crossover in entertainment consumption habits is a pivotal trend for 2024 and beyond.
“What’s so incredible about this generation of kids and teens is the way they consume content fluidly across different platforms. Engaging with both Roblox and YouTube allows them to have highly customised experiences and the ability to curate. They value the presence of real-life brands in these spaces and are highly receptive to appropriate and interesting media activations.
“WildBrain’s COPPA-compliant media solutions bridge video and gaming to offer creative, safe and effective ways to delight families during these bonding moments.”
Entertainment playground: YouTube and Roblox have symbiotic relationship for audience engagement
- Approximately two thirds of players enjoy seeing the same characters crossover between YouTube videos and Roblox games, according to 67% of US and 64% of UK respondents.
- YouTube remains the top place for players across all age groups to watch Roblox videos featuring game play, with well over two thirds (72%) of 6-8-year-olds seeking out Roblox videos on YouTube at least weekly.
- 62% of US and 60% of UK Roblox players look to YouTube specifically for video tips on playing Roblox.
- 60% of US and 58% of UK Roblox players also say that ‘playing Roblox makes me want to watch YouTube videos about Roblox’.
Game on for Moms: Co-Gaming takes off amongst parents—especially moms
- Co-gaming has emerged as a key trend, with 65% of parents reporting they co-play with their kids.
- Moms are twice as likely to play video games with younger children than dads, with more than half of moms (53%) co-playing with children aged 6-8 compared to 26% of dads.
- Dads edged ahead as more likely to co-game with their teenage kids, with 19% of dads engaging in co-play with 16-18 year olds, compared to 16% of moms.
…and there is desire for ‘realness’ in virtual worlds
- 45% of US gamers report they ‘loved’ seeing real-life brands in video games.
- Across US and UK respondents, 7 in 10 gamers age 9-15 said they liked/loved seeing real-life brands within video games. The most popular reasons for all age groups as to why they like seeing real-life brands in video games is that ‘they make the game feel more real’ (43% of 9-12 year olds), and ‘they’re familiar’ (40% of 13-15 year olds and 44% of 16-18 year olds.)
Play, watch, share: Kids curate their own omni-platform content experiences
- Kids and teens are continuing to fluidly curate their own ‘omni-platform’ content experiences, engaging on YouTube and Roblox interchangeably and simultaneously, with habits including over half of US Roblox players (54%) watching Roblox videos on YouTube while playing.
- Roblox is the most popular game for children to play by themselves, with over half (54%) of kids aged 6-18 saying they play Roblox, ahead of Minecraft and Fortnite.
- Roblox is the most popular platform for parents to co-play with their kids, ahead of Fortnite and other platforms.
- Strong category preferences tell us what age-groups are looking for in their entertainment content: more than half (59%) of children aged 2-8 report animal-related content as the most popular genre to watch with their parents, while 62% of teens aged 16-18 prefer comedy.
Sharing time together: Co-viewing is here to stay
- Co-viewing remains a strong mainstay of entertainment consumption behaviour, with 81% of US families reporting they co-view several days a week or more, (compared to 80% as reported in WildBrain’s 2021 report THE STREAMING GENERATION: Shaping the Future of Family Advertising).
- Family audiences in the UK are also co-viewing more, with 78% now co-viewing several days a week or more, growing from 74% as reported in 2021’s STREAMING GENERATION report.
- Connected or smart TVs are the most common way for families to co-view, with 76% of respondents listing Smart/Connected TVs as the device they use to watch shows, films or videos together. This shows growth since WildBrain’s STREAMING GENERATION report in 2021, where 46% of parents chose Smart TVs as the top choice for co-viewing.
- Amongst streaming platforms, YouTube competes strongly as the only AVOD content provider in the top three most popular services alongside Netflix and Disney+ SVOD
- YouTube ranks second in the US and third in the UK as the most popular platform for co-viewing.
- 58% of US respondents chose YouTube as their preferred service used to watch shows, films or videos together, with Disney+ chosen by just 2% more at 60%.
- Family audiences are looking to be entertained together: the most popular content genres US audiences enjoyed when co-viewing are ‘comedy/makes me laugh’ at 61%, Superheroes (48%) and Action (42%)
- Almost half (49%) of US respondents selected films and cartoons as a key product and service they are interested in or would not mind seeing advertised when co-viewing, followed by theme parks (44%), food and drinks (47%) and toys (43%)
To learn more, please visit https://www.wildbrain.com/family-mediaverse
Research was conducted by Savanta on behalf of WildBrain to look at the content consumption behaviors and attitudes of kids and families towards gaming and streaming.
One wave of fieldwork was conducted, between July 20 – August 20, 2023, consisting of online interviews.
A total of 6831 participants were recruited across two markets, the US and UK, with the sample being made up of children 2-15 and their parents, and teens 16-18. Where parents had multiple qualifying children, they designated one child in the survey to apply the questions to.
Parents of children 2-8 answered all questions, whereas parents of children 9-15 answered a selection and had the child answering other questions. Teens 16-18 answered all questions themselves.
Data was weighted according to quotas set for child age and gender. Unless otherwise stated, stats refer to US and UK respondents as a whole.
For more information, please contact:
Aimée Norman at Liberi Consulting, external PR for WildBrain
+44 (0) 7957 564 050
At WildBrain we inspire imaginations through the wonder of storytelling. As a leader in 360° franchise management, we are experts in content creation, audience engagement and global licensing, cultivating and growing love for our own and partner brands with kids and families around the world. With approximately 13,000 half-hours of filmed entertainment in our library—one of the world’s most extensive—we are home to such treasured franchises as Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Inspector Gadget and Degrassi. WildBrain’s mission is to create exceptional entertainment experiences that captivate and delight fans both young and young at heart.
Our studios produce such award-winning series as The Snoopy Show; Snoopy in Space; Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City; Sonic Prime; Chip and Potato; Teletubbies Let’s Go! and many more. Enjoyed in more than 150 countries on over 500 platforms, our content is everywhere kids and families view entertainment, including YouTube, where our network has garnered over 1 trillion minutes of watch time. Our television group owns and operates some of Canada’s most-viewed family entertainment channels. WildBrain CPLG, our leading consumer-products and location-based entertainment agency, represents our owned and partner properties in every major territory worldwide.
WildBrain is headquartered in Canada with offices worldwide and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: WILD). Visit us at wildbrain.com.