Parents strive to keep up with and stay on top of their offspring’s viewing habits which are again transforming as the young generation is rapidly developing into the most important target group for OTT Video Distribution.
Content owners and OTT service providers are presented with ample opportunities to benefit from this development. First let’s take a look at some numbers that substantiate these trends in media consumption:
- Families with kids spend on average 90% more on OTT services than families without kids (Source: Parks Associates; TV Everywhere and the New World of OTT 2015).
- On average, 8- to 10-year-olds spend nearly 8 hours a day consuming different kinds of media (Source: aap.org, Oct. 2013).
- Children born after 2005 consume on average 35 hours of television per week (Source: Time Online, Nov. 20, 2013).
- From 2011-2014 the OTT video consumption of 2-11 year-olds grew by 87% to more than 6h per month on top of their traditional TV consumption of almost 23h per month (Source: nScreenMedia 2014, Nielsen’s Total Audience Report 2015).
- Children get in contact with smart devices at an increasingly early age: 75% of 0-8 year-olds have access to some sort of smart mobile device at home. The average amount of time spent with mobile devices in this age group has tripled (Source: Common Sense Media, Oct. 2013).
These facts represent multipliers for the market value of OTT services for young audiences. The extremely dynamic growth warrants a closer look at what makes the market and special offers tailored to children’s needs so very attractive:
- While some adults download their favorite TV shows from dubious online platforms, parents definitely don’t want their children to do the same. Knowing that they are in a safe and controllable digital environment leads to a high willingness to pay.
- Parents are rightly concerned about their kids watching more and more TV – regardless of whether it happens on the TV set or on mobile devices. Enabling parents to regain control over the television viewing behavior of their kids with sensible parental control features will be crucial for the success of special offerings for ‘growing’ audiences.
- Creating a strong brand relationship from childhood on often leads to strong customer loyalty for a lifetime, which presents a long-term benefit for content owners and content providers.
- Content for young audiences is nearly the same all over the world without the need for regional offerings, except from the support of different languages.
What are the decision criteria for parents when they choose an OTT offering for their kids?
- Content is as usual the differentiator number one, but for kids it’s a bit different. It does not always matter what kids like to watch, instead it is often more important what their parents want them to see. Movies and series with an educational character are immensely increasing the value of the offer for parents. “Content is king” is also true for the children themselves – but only from a certain age onwards. Then the pressure from peers rises and with it the demand for special content. The look and feel of the platform respectively app the kids are using should be adapted to their specific needs, an intuitive navigation with limited or no text usage for example.
- An offline-mode helps differentiate offers as contents become accessible without the need for an immediate internet connection – consequently kids can watch their favorite allowed series during car rides and holiday trips.
- Expanding the control of parents pays off: Mom and Dad demand features like Advanced Age Restriction because it is more precise than PG-ratings, configurable watchlists to define preferential content to watch or listen to and blacklists to exclude specific content or content types. While configuring consumption time and duration is a basic feature nowadays, different PIN-protected profiles for each kid is not and will still help to stand out.
- Beguiling ads are a prime reason for parents to hold off on media offers for their children. Conversely, an ad-free option represents a big plus and will sway the decision making process of many parents towards an offer.
Conclusion and suggestions for a technical solution:
Special interest groups like children are becoming the new mainstream. Tailored offers for different target audiences need to be created to address these rapidly growing markets – but they should be based on one technical platform to reduce complexity and keep operational costs low. A centralized content management system ruling the entire Over The Top distribution from ingest to end user applications delivers therefore significant benefits. The blacklists-feature is very useful and outstanding in regard of an offering for kids, but needs to be well planed in the IT setup as it is very resource consuming. An advanced contract management helps to fulfill all legal obligations resulting from various contracts with different content owners and allows flexible bundling and configuration of various product packages. In the end one technical solution should be able to provide multiple customized and tailored offers to the end-customer.
Max Heintze, OTT Sales Director Siemens Convergence Creators, will be a speaker at the OTTtv World Summit (9th – 12th November 2015 Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London)