Posted Jan 26, 2022, 4:24 PMUpdated on Jan 26, 2022 at 7:42 PM
A Wednesday in front of the television watching the “Club Dorothée”? A scene from another age because today, children hardly watch television anymore. Finally, more precisely, the traditional screen of the living room.
The figures are clear: the viewing time of 4-14 year olds lost 20% in 2021 compared to 2020 and 2019. It is on average 1 hour 10 minutes per day (live and replay), according to data from Médiamétrie . And this even though the time spent in front of television programs for the general public increased a little in 2021, compared to 2019. never been so important”, observes Hélène Bouchon, director of studies for Mediabrands in France.
Another telling figure: while in 2012, 74% of children watched television every day, they are now only 56%. A much stronger drop than for the rest of the population, according to Publicis Media.
However, this does not mean that our dear darlings no longer watch video content. Quite the contrary. The Médiamétrie figures for viewing time for children do not include the different screens (smartphones, tablets, computers) at home.
However, the youngest often have a “personal” consumption of television and via subscription video on demand (SVoD). This is confirmed by various studies, such as “Tendances Kids” by M6 (on a declarative basis, in September): children spend 4.5 hours on average per day watching audiovisual programs, up 15 minutes from 2020 and about thirty minutes compared to 2019.
Consumption on platforms on the rise
Above all, more than half is done outside of “live”: on replay or free video on demand (Okoo, MyTF1, etc.) for 1 hour 12 minutes, SVoD (Netflix, Disney+, etc.) for 37 minutes, streaming (YouTube…) for 29 minutes and video on demand (17 minutes).
76% of parents indicate that their children have seen programs via video on demand platforms during the year, a figure up 35 points compared to 2019! SVoD is now ahead of streaming (70%) and replay or AVoD (65%), and remains relatively close to live (88%, -4 points). “In the United States, SVoD is neck and neck with live,” observes Annabelle Guilly, director of studies at M6 Publicité.
This shift towards Netflix, Disney+ and the like is pushing TV channels to put more emphasis on free and paid streaming (as evidenced by the launch of Okoo at the end of 2019, the emphasis on Gulli Max, etc.) and to bet on family programs, allowing “joint” listening such as “Koh Lanta”, “Le Meilleur Pâtissier”, “Lego Masters”, etc. Gulli has made a strategic shift towards “premiums” intended for adults since the beginning of January.
Decline in advertising
The children’s flight from “Daddy’s TV” also had an impact on advertising. Advertising investments (gross) fell by 6% in 2021 compared to 2019 and by almost 25% compared to 2018 on the youth screens of TF1, M6 and Gulli.
“And this even though advertising in general has increased, specifies Philippe Nouchi, expert at Publicis Media. Youth screens are less of a must for advertisers. Most major toy brands have lowered their investments. There are undoubtedly transfers to digital. “” We do not see a clear lack of interest given that the number of advertisers on youth screens is not weakening, nuance Hélène Bouchon. On the other hand, it is clear that advertisers who have the means are shifting their budgets to major audience crossroads such as ‘primes’: this is what we see for Mc Donald’s or Nintendo in order to be sure of reaching mass the families. »
In addition, youth advertising is increasingly supervised. It was banned from public service by law at the end of 2016. And, last year, the major players in the food sector made a commitment to no longer advertise in children’s programs. “Even if food had already fallen a lot: it only represented 0.2%-0.1% of investments in youth screens in 2018-2019”, notes Philippe Nouchi. “Above all, there are risks that there will be other limitations, in particular on toys that are not very compatible with sustainable development in the future”, observes a specialist.
But professionals want to remain confident. “The main growth lever would be AVoD, which will explode in the future,” hopes a manager.
A bill to limit children’s exposure to screens
“The evil of the century. This is how the deputy Caroline Janvier (La République en Marche) qualifies the overexposure of children to screens. The elected Loiret is preparing a bill to better inform of the dangers of an overflow of screens. This involves, for example, better information for early childhood professionals, the potential inclusion of certain recommendations on computer or telephone screens, etc.
The bill, which is the subject of co-construction by citizens via the Purpoz platform – which received 1,700 contributions at the start of the week – must be finalized and tabled in February. A first draft of the text had been presented to other deputies in June 2020. Then, at the end of last year, the deputy had initiated a forum in “Le Monde”, signed by a hundred deputies and personalities including the philosopher Gaspard Koenig or former minister Benoît Hamon. A text emphasizing in particular the dangers of “digital alienation” for children: language disorders, obesity, etc. “The significant use of screens varies in particular according to the level of education of the parents, the socio-economic situation and the age of the mother. Raising awareness of the issue of the overexposure of our young people also falls under the principle of equal opportunities,” they said.