Online video: the sandbox for new digital kids strategies

The rapid ascent of mobile amongst kids has significantly redistributed traffic across a lot of web-only properties. There is one very big exception. One site, now almost ten years old, is not only defying this trend, it’s actually getting *more* popular amongst kids. Can you name it?

It’s YouTube.

About eighteen months ago, we started briefing our research clients that Facebook was starting to get less popular with kids. People laughed. Some didn’t. Then we showed this graph (click to enlarge) and nobody was laughing any more.

SuperAwesome Research

Online video is rapidly becoming the main battleground for kids content experimentation.

  • Amazon just launched their first kids hub with Mattel for Fireman Sam. It offers streaming episodes of the TV show alongside opportunities to buy merchandise. Marks the first time that Amazon have rolled out a joined-up kids offering.
  • Disney acquired Maker Studios. Not exactly a quiet deal but given their acquisition strategy of locking up the next generation of kids (Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm), it was a major admission that online video was a key part of the landscape.
  • AwesomenessTV (MNC focused on teen market, acquired last year by Dreamworks) acquired Big Frame a few weeks ago to further consolidate their market.
  • Rovio announced that its upcoming Stella game will launch with a 13-webisode series. This also comes off the back of Hasbro’s My Little Pony deal with Bin Weevils to exclusively show webisodes in-game in 2013.

Based on all this, a few scattered thoughts;

  • Given that Twitch represents two major kids growth vectors (online video and games), the rumoured price tag ($1B) seems oddly low. Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a heated bidding war going on behind the scenes.
  • With the success of projects like The Fault In Our Stars, online video offers a real opportunity for book publishers in particular to (re)connect with kids who simply find reading less interesting
  • We’re seeing anecdotal evidence of pre-roll video budget sizes materially accelerating in the UK kids market. This appears to be getting shaved from TV budgets.
  • More and more kids TV programming is going to get tested via online video but critically with directed traffic so expect to see more deals like Hasbro and Rovio above

Questions or thoughts? Drop them in the comments or get in touch.

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