Research 8: Umm hello… We’re changing. Why aren’t you? – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:53pm


  • Children are no longer actively pursuing content; the content comes to them.
  • Children’s media consumption is rapidly changing. According to a report released by Ofcom, 7 in 10 homes now have a tablet.
  • Consumption of content among children has shifted to an “all about me” philosophy, with children choosing what they want, where they want, and when they want to watch it.
  • For kids, wi-fi is as important as air, children – and parents.


In this session Alan Hathaway and Renuka Gupta presented new research from the Discovery Research Group. It revealed that children are increasingly adopting an “all about me” philosophy in their consumption of media.

When using Snapchat, children enjoy sharing photos to show their friends what a day in their life is like. However, the nature of Snapchat is that you take photos and then they disappear.

Children now seem less hung up on emotions and memories, and more hung up on temporary social interactions. In their eyes content is leased and not owned; they share content which they know will disappear as quickly as it is shared.

The research also showed that there is no longer a clear start and end point to children’s consumption of media. The days of ascribed children’s TV slots on terrestrial channels are truly over.

Everything is available on demand through BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube. YouTube is constantly evolving, and in recent years it has seen the rise of “peer celebrities” for children.

At one time children only idolised TV presenters on BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 4, for example. For most children the first time they watch a programme will be on a tablet and not the television. Nowadays children idolise people who have set up YouTube vlogs; people who seem real, honest and authentic.

The session teasingly explored how children now see Wi-Fi as being just as important as air, water and even parents. Content is no longer device prejudice- content is searched for and consumed on any screen.

There has been a significant movement towards creating content purely for the purposes of sharing it to gain social affirmation and approval among their friends. Zuckerberg’s law is relevant now more than ever; every year consumers will share twice as much content as they did in the previous year.

When trying to advertise and appeal to children through social media networks, using banter to create relevance is queen. Children loved how Nando’s embraced the “cheeky Nando’s” joke rather than rejecting it:  “the cool brands go with the flow, adapting to something rather than fighting it.”

The way that Netflix allows users to create their own separate profiles makes children feel as though they have control and ownership of the content they are streaming. Children want to feel that they are the centre of their own universe.

For full details of the speakers, check the Session Guide

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