SCREENING: Yesterday’s Couch Potatoes are Today’s YouTubers

Posted on: Saturday 09 July 2011 11:48am


Produced and Presented by David Kleeman, President, American Centre for Children and Media.

Blog by Colin Ward, who promised a John Lennon quote free with every post 🙂

‘Possession isn’t nine-tenths of the law. It’s nine-tenths of the problem.’ John Lennon.

I’ve only just got the gag in the session title… duh. I should have known that David Kleeman, King of the Puns, would have a word gag. Potato / Tubers… Very clever. I bet he toyed with the idea of working ‘mash up’ in there as well.

David Kleeman’s sessions are always enlightening. He spends his life hunting around the world for exciting children’s media, emerging trends in youth culture, and new research, so that we don’t have to. I recommend his Facebook page, Children and Media Professionals, for high quality debate and information.

This session focused on the growth of YouTube as a media source for children and young people. David introduced research conducted by Thomas Hallam and Claudio Franco at Dubit research in Leeds. Here are the headlines, but keep in mind that their research is much more detailed and nuanced than these bullet points.

  • Children now watch more video on computers than recorded TV (PVR’s, Sky Plus)

  • The vast majority of that video is watched via YouTube, which has passed some of the main TV channels for reach.

  • Kids look for a range of clips, from favourite films, characters, songs, to shared viral videos.

  • They tend to get professional content from the main streaming sites, often TV channels.

  • They like the freedom of YouTube and the wide choice. They like that they can find their own particular taste in humour or niche interests. They feel in control and like the ‘repeat’ experience. They like finding older animation content (something I’ve done with my daughter, who was happy to watch the Clangers and Trumpton ad infinitum).

  • Older children like the fact they can access the adult world and will seek out prohibited material, both violent and sexual. The older kids know how to disable blocks.

  • They like stunts and fail vids, and there is a potential danger from imitative behaviour.

  • The biggest views are for humour, music, cartoons, and UGC videos. TV programmes are way down the line. Funny rules and niche content is also hot – skateboarding, guitars, etc.

The rest of the session was given over to watching a selection of ‘most viewed’ clips. All of them were good, here are the links to some of my favourites. They’re either funny, good, or informative about the sort of content children share… and at the very least make sure you watch Ninja Cat or you will never know what you missed! 🙂

Thanks for a great CMC and hopefully see you all next year.

Annoying Orange

Simon’s Cat

Justin Bieber

Lady Gaga Makeup Lesson

Minecraft – Form This Way

Ninja Cat