With families staying at home to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), television viewership seems to have risen across the board, with an exception in one area: It appears that children’s year over year TV viewership continues to decline.
Evidently, parents are dismissing traditional linear television and opting for streaming services to entertain their kids instead. Viewership amongst kids’ linear cable networks has dropped by about three percent, with viewership among 2- to 11-year-olds seeing a steady decrease by roughly 25 percent on a weekly basis since the beginning of 2020. The outlier in what seems to be the current trend is Disney XD, which has seen a 5 percent increase in viewership.
With more and more children being home-schooled, parents have found more and more ways to occupy their time with distance-learning opportunities provided by museums, zoos, educational organizations and entertainment outlets.
“Even though the rate of decline significantly decelerated, it’s still in negative territory even though time available in front of TV is arguably as large as it can be,” Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger stated. “It’s very likely that kids’ linear TV continues to lose significant share vs. other forms of entertainment, namely [subscription video on demand] services and video games.”
While kids’ linear cable channels have been seeing a steady decline, network-associated apps have seen an increased viewership. Nickelodeon’s Noggin app has grown 11 percent from month to month in paid subscribers with a 40 percent jump in free trial sign-ups.
When it comes to overall viewership, streaming platforms have seen an uptick as they begin to offer more and more children’s programming. CBS All Access and Disney+ have seen gains from shows and films such as Polly Pocket, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? and Frozen 2.
Despite families staying home during the coronavirus shutdown, television viewership amongst kids is still declining from year to year.