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New WildBrain research explores family entertainment habits

WildBrain 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.

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.

“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,” commented Kate Smith, evp of audience engagement at WildBrain. “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.”

Key insights of the research include:

YouTube and Roblox have a 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 mums: Co-gaming has emerged as a key trend, with 65% of parents reporting they co-play with their kids. Mums are twice as likely to play video games with younger children than dads, with more than half of mums (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 mums.

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 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 also the most popular platform for parents to co-play with their kids, ahead of Fortnite and other platforms.

Co-viewing remains a strong mainstay, with 81% of US families reporting they co-view several days a week or more. Family audiences in the UK are also co-viewing more, with 78% now co-viewing several days a week or more.

Among streaming platforms, YouTube competes strongly as the only AVOD content provider in the top three most popular services alongside Netflix and Disney+.

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