The Evolving Media Mix

There is no question that the media landscape is evolving.  With more screen viewing options than ever before, viewers are watching content everywhere and anywhere across mobile, tablets, desktop, and TV.  The path to consumers has become fragmented, demanding greater sophistication in media planning.  One thing remains for certain; this is a fast-changing landscape but for now, linear TV continues to provide the broadest reach for kids 2-11 and remains the foundational pillar for which to build reach within the strategic media mix for families and kids.


That being said, it is undeniable that digital video viewing has become a significant part of kids’ media consumption. 56% of kids age 11 and under are digital video viewers (up 7% from 2019), peaking at a total of 27.2M kids in 2020[1].  Kids are now watching twice as many videos per day as they were 4 years ago. 69% of kids watch on YouTube, spending an average of 97 minutes per day on the platform![2] Despite this increase in digital viewing, traditional TV penetration reigns with over 73% of kids watching TV, spending an average of 113 minutes daily!  


Kids are also accessing social media and spending time daily following their interests, despite age requirements for social media accounts.  Instagram is a key platform with 20.4% of kids 4-15 years using the app, up 25% vs last year[3].  Not surprisingly, TikTok is on the rise amongst all age segments and kids are spending 95 minutes per day viewing short form video on this platform; just two minutes shy of YouTube’s daily average of 97 minutes amongst same audience[4].  Social media usage is not limited to Instagram and Tiktok; 16% of kids are connecting to friends on SnapChat and 13.7% on Facebook.[5] Gaming giants Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite are currently dominating the US gaming market for kids.  The average time spent reached almost 95 minutes daily in 2020 with Roblox alone spiking to an average 106 minutes daily!  With a large variety of games, Roblox is a favorite amongst both boys and girls of all ages.[6]


New consumer behaviors demand a new marketing playbook.  To be clear, TV is still the top medium to capture the greatest reach amongst kids, however, a rich media mix that consists of both TV and digital will optimize campaign performance and deliver at multiple consumer touchpoints. The ability to hyper-target consumer segments, afforded by innovation and sophistication in digital media tools, provides unprecedented opportunities to test and invest.  Losses in impressions due to declines in linear viewing and programming availability can be compensated for in unique new ways.  While we would like to say that we are creating a brand-new playbook, the plays are tailored to be audience specific.  What works for one audience can not necessarily translate to another. 


What considerations should you keep in mind?

  1. A clear identification of your audience is always crucial.  Do you know who they are?  If not, we can help test and learn to define your segment.  
  2. Don’t back away from TV.  A linear presence provides foundational reach among key demos.
  3. Aim for a tailored media mix to reach and resonate with your audience.  A wise media mix would reflect audience consumption of OTT, social media, and gaming.
  4. Manage seasonality shifts in both consumption and in CPM to be most effective with your dollar.

Fast-evolving technology is changing the ways content is being delivered.  Being everywhere is more important than ever as consumers quickly adapt to innovation and explore new channels.  Recognizing that watch time is fragmented, staying informed, identifying trends, and forecasting consumer patterns across all touchpoints including social commerce, augmented reality, influencer marketing, live streaming, user generated content, and the appropriate metrics is how we create the competitive edge for our clients.

[1] Source: Nielsen NNTV; 2021 Broadcast STD (8/31/20-1/31/21) vs same time period YAGO Live +3, K2-11. eMarketer 2020 , 2021

[2] Sources:  Techcrunch 2020, study on Kids ages 4-15. DCWW Consumer Insights Kids Tech Pulse 2020 ages 2-5 & 6-14 

[3] Sources:  Techcrunch 2020, study on Kids ages 4-15

[4] Sources:  Techcrunch 2020, study on Kids ages 4-15

[5] Sources:  Techcrunch 2020, study on Kids ages 4-15

[6] Sources:  Techcrunch 2020, study on Kids ages 4-15. DCWW Consumer Insights Kids Tech Pulse 2020 ages 2-14