Frankfurt, July 20, 2020. Whether linear TV or online video, video content is in high demand among the young generation: 90 percent of 3-to-17 year-olds consume video content on a daily basis. They also appreciate communal viewing, whether with parents or friends. Among 3-to-13 year-olds, TV content accounted for almost half of video usage and among 14-to-17 year-olds, more than a third.
These are the recent results of the “AGF GenZ Video Study” conducted by the Kantar market research institute on behalf of AGF Videoforschung (AGF) in February and March 2020. Video usage and the motivations behind it among 3-to-17 year-olds were investigated in a modularly designed study with a qualitative preliminary part and a large-scale quantitative analysis, including questions about the respondents’ daily routines. “With more than 5,100 respondents, AGF GenZ is one of the most extensive studies of this subject in Germany in the last few years,” said AGF CEO Kerstin Niederauer-Kopf.
The results of this study are presented in the AGF Viewtime video format being launched today, which can be viewed at Viewtime.agf.de. In AGF Viewtime, AGF presents current and important projects and features commentary by advertisers, agencies, video providers, TV stations, and other experts. Fittingly for the topic of video usage among children and young people, Thorsten Braun, Chief Revenue Officer of the children’s TV channel Super RTL, is the guest expert in the first installment.
Video usage of young people as an indicator
GenZ is one of the most interesting target groups because children and teenagers are pioneers of the transformation of video usage. AGF has delivered TV reach values and meanwhile also online video reach values for the German market for more than 30 years. The methodology and measurement tools are continually refined. Granular insights into the media usage behavior of children and teenagers with an emphasis on video are needed and this is exactly what the recently published fundamental study “AGF GenZ” delivers. “The broadly conceived survey provided valuable insights that enrich our own measurement results and help us manage our toolkit with a view to the future,” Kerstin Niederauer-Kopf explained.
YouTube is the favorite app of GenZ
Whether child or teenager, watching video is one of the most popular pastimes of GenZ, with the vast majority of this generation, around 90 percent, consuming video content on a daily basis. In fact, nearly every child and teenager watches video content at least occasionally. The share of streaming use increases from the age of 11, that being when children generally receive their own smartphone and move on to higher-level schools. Beginning at this age, more than 80 percent consume linear TV in combination with streaming services (VoD). As they get older, the share of “only streaming” rises from 10 to 15 percent (14-to-17 year-olds). In all age segments, YouTube is the clear leader among video apps, followed by Netflix. The sole exception is the 10-to-13 year-old cohort, where TikTok has already moved into second place. In the segment of children up to 10 years old, the public-sector services Kika und “Sendung mit der Maus” also rank among the top 5.
Video protagonists and identification figures
Children need heroes and look for them and this is particularly evident in their consumption of video content. Boys’ heroes include Paw Patrol, Sam and Spiderman. For girls, Elsa the Snow Queen is the most popular hero by far, although Ladybug and Peppa Pig are also very trendy. When they change schools, children enter a new phase when their interests shift from comic-book characters, animals and cars to real people. This is when network influencers become more relevant, rising to second place. Boys between the ages of 14 and 17 are most interested in star athletes, while girls in this age group prefer protagonists from TV shows, series or comics.
Parents influence their children’s media usage behavior
As they enter their teenage years, the influence of their parents diminishes. However, the results of the “AGF GenZ” survey show that the media usage of children and teenagers is still influenced by their parents’ behavior. The more TV is watched in the household generally, the greater TV usage is among the children as well. The opposite can be said of streaming consumption. As they grow older, young people enjoy greater freedoms and increasingly choose their own usage times and content. Thus, 49 percent of 11-to-13 year-olds said that they are allowed to watch content on the device of their choice, 46 percent as often as they want. 76 percent of teenagers over 14 control the duration of their video content consumption on their own, and 72 percent watch video on the device of their choice, while 67 percent also choose the content and the place where they watch.
Follow the content
The choice of the video platform also depends on the content. Half of children up to 6 years old experience YouTube for the first time in the context of TV content. Preschool-age children most frequently watch formats featuring TV heroes like Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and the Sandman. Boys in elementary school discover their passion for gaming, while girls of that age remain loyal to classic TV content like cartoons and series. Online videos dominate the video content consumption of boys 11 and older, followed by humorous content like comedies and funny online videos. Girls between the ages of 11 and 13 also watch online videos the most, while girls aged 14 to 17 prefer music videos and clips.
GenZ appreciates linear TV as a kind of family campfire
But what needs do children and teenagers seek to fulfill when they consume video content? To answer this question (empirically), both the sociodemographic characteristics and the situational usage motives and needs of the surveyed children and teenagers were considered. “Entertainment and community” were the need states that are most often fulfilled by linear TV, followed by “relaxation and escapism.” “In this sense, TV fulfills its proven role as a kind of family campfire. The shared TV experience on the couch is most appreciated by the youngest children, but pre-teens also enjoy watching soccer or a show event with Mom and Dad,” Kerstin Niederauer-Kopf explained.
Linear TV also fulfills an important function as a structuring element throughout the day and creates a sense of familiarity. Three-to-six year-olds in particular want to be close to their TV heroes and look forward to rituals such as the regular broadcast of their favorite series at a certain time of day. Smaller children especially prefer to watch TV in the evening, but also in the morning. During the course of the day, the alternation of use situations and locations is also clearly reflected in their video consumption: Video content plays an important structuring role for children before school or daycare and after coming home in the afternoon.
TV delivers knowledge and information
But video content is not just entertainment. The aspect of learning and being up-to-date should not be overlooked. This aspect is a unique selling proposition for TV and is especially relevant for viewers aged 11 and older. “In these times of the coronavirus pandemic, for example, we have observed that young target groups in particular use linear TV intensively to satisfy their heightened information needs. This trend has caused reach values to soar,” Kerstin Niederauer-Kopf said. “We can conclude from the AGF GenZ Video Study that a solid digital foundation of media usage is laid early in life and continues to grow over the years. Even for adults, however, there will also be certain phases of life in which linear TV offers certain gratifications.”
About AGF Videoforschung GmbH (www.agf.de)
AGF Videoforschung GmbH specializes in impartial video research. AGF continuously tracks the use of video content in Germany on a quantitative basis and analyzes the collected data. It invests many millions of euros per year to continuously refine its instruments in order to deliver reliable data on the use of video content to the market on a daily basis. AGF consults closely with all market partners, including licensed TV stations, advertisers and media agencies.
Head of Corporate Communication | AGF Videoforschung GmbH |
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