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New platforms to challenge YouTube, says Kids Insights

Future Forecast report predicts rapid rise of TikTok, more girl gamers and increasing ‘over the top’ delivery of branded content.

Market research company Kids Insights has published its latest trend predictions for the next 12 months.

Among them, it predicts a ‘plateauing’ YouTube will be shunned by UK kids for more interactive online experiences.

A recent report by Ofcom stated that YouTube was the most popular platform for children to consume video content and that 89% of 12-15 year olds now watched YouTube regularly.

However, Kids Insights’ data reveals that over the last year they have seen the number of children spending time each day watching YouTube decline from 61% to 51%, and that even among older children (10-15 year olds) the proportion watching anything on YouTube has dropped from 65.4% to 54.8% in the last 12 months.

Future Forecast further predicts that established channels like YouTube will be challenged by the emergence of new platforms such as the child-friendly, short-form mobile video platform TikTok.

Kids Insights has identified that 10% of girls aged 10-12 in the UK used the TikTok social app in the last quarter of 2018. The report goes on predict that the TikTok could become the new ‘Snapchat’ having already successfully launched in Asia and the US.

A further threat to dominance of YouTube predicted in the report is the continual rise of gaming, especially within the esports arena. Girls in particular are increasingly embracing esports, both as viewers and players, and this is set to eradicate more of YouTube’s younger audience.

In addition, ownership of Smart Speakers in the UK increased by 76% in 2018, meaning 1 in 5 children now have access to voice activated services. Use of such voice-based systems by children also rose by over 83% in the last 12 months.

As a result, Kids Insights predicts that after ‘Generation Type’ and ‘Generation Swipe’, ‘Generation Speak’ is set to make voice activation the preferred operating system for children over the next 12 months.

Other key predictions from the report is that the direct-to-consumer revolution, known as ‘over the top’ (OTT) will really kick in in 2019.

Examples are Netflix by-passing linear TV, but brands as diverse as DC Comics and Formula 1 have launched their own video-on-demand services.

The popularity of gaming also informs another prediction in the report; more regulation around in-app purchases sold to children through ‘free’ games.

Other Future Forecast predictions include major changes in how brands present their products due to increased levels of environmental concern – in 1 in 3 children now think about the effect of their actions on the environment, up from in 1 in 4 in early 2018.

Finally, Kids Insights predicts retailers and brands will invest in more collaborative, social and interactive experiences in-store – aimed at kids – which will go much further than just cosmetic ‘retail theatre’.

“It would be a brave organisation to predict the decline of YouTube, but whether it’s through the rising popularity of collaborative activities, such as commenting on esports online or making fun videos with friends to post on TikTok, a decline in children undertaking passive activities like watching YouTube looks inevitable,” said Nick Richardson, ceo of the Insights People, which produces the report.

“What Future Forecast also reveals is that it’s not enough for marketeers to simply react to top-line data which tells what happened last year. They need to get under the skin of the data, make connections between what’s on the rise and what’s declining, and track trends from their early inception.”

Nick continued: “This is because kids are increasingly making their own decisions about what they want, how they want it and when. The cultural, social, financial and technical ecosystem of children is also rapidly converging, simultaneously fragmenting audiences even further as more peer-to-peer collaborative content is developed and more special interest communities evolve.”

A 17-page summary of the Kids Insights’ 2019 Future Forecast report capturing all the key trends and top-line data is available as a free download via www.kidsinsights.co.uk/futureforecast.

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