New Playbook: How to Make a Great Skippable Ad – Kids & Families Edition

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Kids and the Screen USA Study

Kids and the Screen study image

New York, NY / September 13, 2021 / ​​


A new study from Precise TV and Giraffe Insights, a leading kids research agency, reveals that children between two and twelve years old recall ads on YouTube two times more often than ads on broadcast television. In a survey of 2,000 families, 70% of kids asserted they recall ads on YouTube. In contrast, only 35% of respondents recall ads on broadcast TV. You can download a free version of the report here: 

These findings do not suggest that families are not watching video on televisions, but rather that they’ve shifted their viewership habits to internet-enabled viewing across screens. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend of households cutting the cord and embracing free ad-supported television (FAST) options such as VIZIO WatchFree, Roku and, of course, YouTube. Unsurprisingly, YouTube is now the single biggest source of supply in U.S. connected TV (CTV) advertising, with approximately 40% of U.S. ad impressions on YouTube now occurring on TV screens, up from 12% just two years ago, according to eMarketer.

"The convergent TV revolution is upon us,” said Christian Dankl, Precise TV Co-Founder and Chairman. “As the traditional TV, streaming and online premium video worlds coalesce, YouTube is the dominant catch all for advertisers coveting audiences online and via connected TVs.”

YouTube is the most popular way U.S. kids consume content (85%), followed by Video On Demand (71%), and Gaming (60%). In contrast, kids are least interested in esports (13%), magazines/catalogs (16%) and trips to the cinema (17%). 

How kids are consuming content

The study goes further, to also investigate how advertisements across platforms impact purchasing decisions. A staggering 70% kids saw ads on YouTube vs just 35% on Broadcast TV, and respondents suggest a direct correlation between this heightened YouTube ad recall and purchasing decisions. When kids were subsequently asked to recall where they saw advertised items that they asked their parents to buy them, YouTube was the overwhelming answer (34%) followed by Broadcast TV (15%) and In-store (9%). This was largely backed up by parents. When parents were asked where they had seen ads that led to purchased items for their children, they said YouTube (25%) followed by Broadcast TV (12%) and Online Websites (10%).

“This study, which we run biannually, is key in helping us track trends in viewing behavior over time,” said Holly Paxman Gibb, VP of Kids Media Program Sales U.S. at Precise TV. “We’re able to identify new platforms and behaviors as they emerge to inform digital marketing strategies that cut through and deliver ROI. We’ve known for years that kids are watching YouTube above all other online video platforms, but with this study we can now link those viewing habits to purchasing decisions. By plugging this data into a contextual targeting platform, it allows brands to ensure they’re reaching a convertible audience before even launching a campaign.”

Giraffe Insights Managing Director Maxine Fox commented: “This exciting piece of research comes at a time where brands need to understand and respond to the changing environment and the impact this is having on kids viewing.   Our study revealed 35% of kids only access content via YouTube, online sites, social media, gaming and video on demand platforms. That means, if brands and advertisers are not focusing on a digital-first strategy they’re missing at least a third of their desired audience from the outset. But this is not all, with a wealth of other data that sits behind this study, brands can access the full research to provide their business with strategic kids insights not currently available anywhere else.”

Kids and the Screen: changing the channel

Topics: coppa, kids marketing, youtube, Google, privacy, advertising, contextual targeting, brand suitability, Kids, tiktok, netflix, disney, youtube kids, viacom, nickelodeon