For preschool children, favourite books are heavily linked to favourite TV shows and characters.
Now, kids’ ecosystems are bigger than ever before and are continually evolving. New, innovative media is taking the place of and blurring lines between these more traditional forms and content fragmentation is rife. A platform that has emerged and maintained a spot as a major player, in this new world of kids is YouTube, and over the past few years, the rise of influencers has been a key area of interest.
2019 in particular, saw a significant amount of YouTube influencers branching out into mainstream endeavours. The effectiveness of such is reflected in the popularity of influencers like Ryan’s World and Tiana, both of whom appeared in the top 10 YouTubers for kids in the last quarter of 2019 and just under 1 in 10 are buying items related to their favourite YouTuber, proving the impact of digital creators.
Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World has now matured from unboxing toys on camera – which he started doing when he was 3 – to branching out into a line of more than 100 toys, books, clothing items and a show on Nickelodeon – all by the time he was 8 years old.
Based on our data, 3-12s years old that favour Ryan’s World are 65% more likely than average to buy magazines related to their favourite YouTuber. While DanTDM fans are 15% more likely than average to buy books related to their favourite YouTuber.
Influencers, however, have moved beyond YouTube into other areas of kids ecosystems such as social media. Our data shows social media is an integral part of teenagers lives and increasingly takes up a greater proportion of time spent on activities throughout the day. Teens favourite platform is Instagram with just under half of teens using it (52%). Close to half (45%) of teens are using Snapchat, and 41% are using Facebook – naturally, this is a good place for brands to reach their audience and influencers expand their fanbase.
This generation is both digitally and media-savvy so even at a young age content from brands and influencers alike needs to be thoughtfully planned, and influencers especially have an opportunity to build trust with their audience; over half of teens (53%) trust social media as a whole.
Despite the popularity of social media, new platforms don’t actually come along that often. Before TikTok arrived on the scene in 2019, Snapchat was the last household name to appear in 2011. Amongst 3-18 year olds, TikTok usage has grown 500% (13.3% now use) throughout 2019, indicative of its relevance in kids’ social media usage.
TikTok’s rise in popularity could be in part, due to Gen Z’s need for niche platforms. Reddit, a network of communities, offers brands an opportunity to connect with Gen Z through their interests and passions and we have also seen a recent growth in a number of communities and platforms developed for the gaming community i.e. Twitch & Discord.
The rise of influencers has also impacted on career aspirations amongst children. Amongst boys aged 3-12 years old, becoming a YouTuber is the second most popular career choice (6%), second only to those wanting to become a footballer. First came YouTubers, followed by Instagram Influencers – could we see TikTok produce the next rising stars of social media, and the career aspirations of the younger generation closer to being realised.
From YouTubers, new favourite characters to hobbies and activities, children preferences are constantly changing. We can track these changes and their impact live in our real-time data portal. Understanding what is going on in the kids’ ecosystem has never been more important, and we specialise in helping clients identify new products before the masses do, understand the true performance of a product and how to maximise their investment from a sales and marketing perspective.
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