30 September 2023 05:39


When it comes to choosing a streaming service, children’s content influences nearly half of parents

Children’s viewing habits can hold tremendous sway over their parents’ choice of streaming subscription, according to a new poll from YouGov.

In a survey of over 900 parents in the US with children aged 18 and under, roughly two in five (39%) say they consider what children’s content is available on a platform before subscribing to a streaming service.

Most of these parents are thinking about the price of a streaming service (54%) when they choose their service but many also say that factors such as whether the platform offers the specific show or content they want (43%) and a variety of shows and films (42%) are top of mind.

Digging further into the data reveals that weighing up what children’s content a platform provides tends to rival considerations of price when it comes to one specific group of parents: those with young children.

Parents of children ages 5 and under are significantly more likely than parents of children aged 18 and under to say they think about what children’s content is available before deciding on a streaming service (49% vs. 39%; 10-percentage point difference).

What’s more, parents of young children are nearly as likely to consider the children’s content available on a platform (49%) as they are to consider the price of a service (50%).

To help determine which factors are most important to parents, we asked them to rank the factors they mentioned before committing to a streaming service.

Unsurprisingly, more than half of parents of children aged 18 and under who selected the cost of a service ranked it as the most important factor to them (54%).

Among those who said they factor in children’s content, nearly half (47%) rank it as their most important factor. This further underscores that, in terms of importance, the availability of kids shows and films ranks second only to the cost of a service.

Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all streaming strategy that works across the board for every streaming provider but understanding the role of kids' content and taking advantage of these insights could unlock success in a competitive space.

To pull even more from our data, we sliced the results by the streaming platforms to which parents are currently subscribed to get a snapshot into the mindset of these consumers.

For example, we see that parents of children 18 and under who are subscribed to Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Paramount+ or Peacock are nearly equal in their perceptions of the importance of children’s content in their streaming decisions.

There are few standouts, though, especially among those currently subscribed to Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Parents of children 18 and under who have Hulu and say they consider children’s content in their streaming decision were significantly less likely to rank it as their most important factor (41%; z-score of –2.3). A similar observation can be made of those who subscribe to Amazon Prime Video (43%; z-score of –2.12).

Understanding and limiting subscriber churn is critical in today’s streaming landscape. We’ve written extensively before on how cost of living increases can affect how much people will spend on streaming services, but new data from YouGov shows that children’s content also plays a significant role in whether parents decide to stick with a streaming platform.

A quarter of parents of children aged 18 who cancelled a streaming service within the last three years indicate they did so because their children no longer watch the content on that service (26%). What’s more, a fifth of these parents say they turned away from a streaming service because they found the kids shows and films to be lacking on the platform (19%).

There are other important factors to subscriber churn among parents. Price, which was one of the main considerations that led people to subscribe in the first place, could also lead them to leave if the cost of a service became too expensive (44%).

Exclusivity and original content on a platform also appear to play important roles. More than a third of parents say they cancelled a service because they watch the same content elsewhere for cheaper.

Lastly, maintaining parents’ interests in a platform will be key to keeping them around. A third say they cancelled a service because they finished watching the series or movies that led them to subscribe in the first place (32%) and a near equal share say they left a platform for good because it got rid of the content they liked (29%).


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