Video gaming is setting a new high score for audience reach in the battle for eyeballs among streaming platforms, YouTube, and traditional broadcast TV, suggests the latest data from Kids Insights Media Mix Compass, and now is the time for toy brands to start paying closer attention.
Here, Nick Richardson, Founder and CEO, The Insights People, and ToyNews’ Robert Hutchins explore the latest trends and data to be shaping the shifting media landscape.
The videogame Roblox has outscored all broadcast TV channels in both the UK and US as the most powerful platform through which to reach young audiences, according to the latest insight from The Kids Insights Media Mix Compass
And the implications if this can’t be underestimated. In fact, compounding the popularity of the video games market, which has continued to grow significantly over the last few years, the potential for it to change the way in which businesses execute the marketing strategies for brands and retailers, is enormous.
Advertising budgets should no longer be solely – or even predominantly – focused on television. The world has changed, and video games are all too often the undervalued platforms to core audiences by marketers.
According to our latest data – sourced through a recently launched Media Mix Compass – teens now spend an average of 1 hour 25 minutes per day playing video games. That’s more time than they spend watching TV.
Generally, kids spend 62 per cent of their available time on digital activities. In the US, for example, for kids aged six to nine, Roblox has a Media Mix Score (MMS) of 128 which is higher than Nickelodeon (91), Disney Channel (80) and Cartoon Network (76). The Kids Insights Media Mix Score considers the reach, time spent and preference of 11 different media types and approximately 1,500 different channels in each region.
This past year has found parents discovering new ways to get their kids to play. With that, one of America’s top toy properties LOL Surprise is joining forces with top digital gaming platform ROBLOX – creating a relationship with the 1st Doll World of Roblox on a Global level. Through these two leaders in toy/play coming together, billions of fans can now discover a more immersive and shared gaming experience.
Toy brands are beginning to become savvy to the step change in the importance of such gaming and entertainment platforms. Just this week, international toy manufacturer, MGA Entertainment detailed plans to launch its LOL Surprise brand onto the Roblox platform.
The launch will kick-off with a ‘testing phase’ through which fans can play with and against their favourite gaming influencers as they explore the LOL/Roblox world.
Elsewhere, last week Hasbro detailed the five year extension of its current partnership with Epic Games’ Fortnite to expand on its licensing programme that includes the addition of its GI Joe character Snake Eyes into the Fortnite video game.
Meanwhile, it is equally important to note the growing importance of other new media options, including esports, which now ranks as the third most powerful media type for boys aged 10 to 12 in the UK, behind only YouTube and video games.
Esports is therefore one of the biggest opportunities for advertisers in 2021. Already one-in-ten teens in the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and Canada use Twitch, the premiere platform in the industry for live video content. While physical sporting events were halted amidst the pandemic, the League of Legends European Championship – streamed live on Twitch – boasted the league’s highest ever viewing figures, raking in an average of 819,400 viewers for the final in April 2020.
Meanwhile, even more traditional areas, such as online chess, has witnessed huge viewer numbers over Twitch, hitting as many as 140,000 viewers at a time and helping to fuel a global resurgence in the traditional game, confirmed by the International Chess Federation, that has seen manufacturers hit new record highs for sales of chess boards.
However, marketing to kids is not a one-size-fits-all activity. In the UK, teenage girls are still tuning into Broadcast TV with ITV recording a score of 124 and Channel 4 hitting 99, making Broadcast TV the second most powerful media type with this demographic.
But streaming services and video games took a huge piece from the tasty audience pie. Each year with a growing variety of different online entertainment, the trend for kids to opt for digital platforms over the traditional ones will likely continue.
We also should keep in mind the growing influence and decision-making power of kids within the home being greater than with any other previous generation. Children have their own opinion over many other new categories, such as the purchase of a new car (which 54 per cent more kids say they influence in 2020 compared to 2019).
Although reaching this audience is more important than ever, it is increasingly difficult to do so. Growing up as digital natives, this generation have a far greater choice of what they consume and when they consume it than ever before. Therefore, kids’ attention is fragmented across a huge range of (increasingly niche) platforms, making it harder to reach a mass audience.
Brands spend just 37 per cent of their budget on non-digital spending, yet kids spend a huge 62 per cent of their time on digital, resulting in a mismatch that will cost advertisers $1.15bn in 2021.
For more information on the Kids Insights Media Mix Compass, and to receive complimentary access to the tool and a copy of an example report please visit www.kidsinsights.com/mediamix
To learn more about the attitudes, behavior and consumption patterns of kids, parents and families, and to get freemium access to the Insights People real-time data portal, please visit: http://www.kidsinsights.com/toynews