Navigating the new narrative
As Ofcom’s latest report on ‘Children and parents: Media use and attitudes 2018’ highlights only too well, young people have never had as much variety and choice, when it comes to accessing and consuming media, as they do today. From what they consume, to when and how they consume it, habits are changing. And they’re changing fast. Which means we 'grown-ups' need to keep up! Especially, if we want our messages and content to remain relevant, engaging and importantly, hit the spot!
The report’s pretty long. Well, 18 pages. So, we’ve picked out the highlights for you. Here they are:
- TV sets and tablets dominate device use. But increasingly young people are watching services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV rather than traditional broadcast television or on-demand. Seemingly because they prefer choosing what to watch and when to watch it themselves.
- YouTube is becoming the viewing platform of choice. Within this, vloggers are an increasingly important source of content and creativity, with young people aspiring to become like them and often posting their own video content in the hope they’ll get discovered. Content such as ‘how-to’, unboxing videos and game tutorials are among the most popular content.
- Online gaming is increasingly popular; three-quarters of 5-15s who play games do so online. Interestingly this is an area where there’s a clear gender disparity with boys aged 12-15 spending almost twice the amount of time gaming each week.
- Social media brings a combination of social pressures and positive influences, with girls more likely to be affected by pressure to look popular and hurt by mean comments.
- TV and social media are important sources of news. But many young people have concerns over the accuracy and trustworthiness of news on social media. They are also aware of ‘fake-news’ and that social media influencers can be paid to promote certain products or subjects.
- Search engine advertising is only understood by a third of 12-15’s.
- Parental control of screen time for 12-15s has become more difficult and concerns about the internet are rising. Although it seems that parents are, in some areas, becoming less likely to moderate their child’s activities.
It’s clear that young people just don’t consume media in the same way that we did ten, or even five years ago. It’s equally evident, that there’s a huge degree of confusion among adults about how to moderate, protect, shape and influence the overwhelming wealth of content that young people are exposed to and seeking out.
Understanding young people’s media consumption habits is vital if we’re to keep the lines of communication open and effectively navigate this increasingly unfamiliar digital landscape. So, if you, or your business would like a little guidance, perhaps we can help at our next youth marketing masterclass in London or Manchester.