Kids SVOD market heats up with YouTube Red original programming

By Paula Minardi on Feb 15 2017 at 4:00 PM
As more niche audiences flock to OTT services devoted to their specific interests today, a focus on kids SVOD programming is becoming a popular strategy for OTT providers to capture and keep cord-cutting adults and their offspring. 
 
YouTube Red has become the latest SVOD service to expand its investments in original programming focused on families with children ages 12 and under; the service will launch four new series this year featuring talent from the YouTube platform, including tween girl group, L2M. The shows will also be available to YouTube Red subscribers via the YouTube Kids mobile app, which counts over 8 million active weekly users.
 
Other SVOD services such as Ooyala customers Hopster and Toca Boca’s Toca TV also are seeing success with subscription OTT apps targeted towards young audiences.
 
Beyond these services and kids-market leaders like Nickelodeon and Disney, SVOD companies like Netflix and Amazon are establishing a strong position in children’s programming via original content -- to induce parents to activate and maintain their subscriptions. Offering “whole house” programming options for all family members helps build value and cement subscriber relationships.
 
This strategy will be particularly important for YouTube Red, which has been struggling to turn viewers into paying customers. While under-18 Generation Z viewers are accustomed to the platform’s free, ad-supported offerings, they may help influence household subscriptions. Parents are keen on the ad-free environments that SVOD services offer.
 
Many young viewers have vanishing reference points for linear TV in the home these days as they spend less time watching TV on a TV set and their Millennial and Generation X parents increasingly cut or shave the pay-TV cord in favor of OTT video. As they age, these young audiences prefer to watch YouTube videos, which provide a forum for easy repeat viewing, social connection to their favorite talent and mobile connectivity. 
 
Mobile video content and app availability are crucial for kids SVOD services, as kids are spending more of their time watching on tablets, smartphones and gaming consoles. A recent Ofcom report found that 44% of children ages 5-15 own a tablet.
 
Establishing brand loyalty with young SVOD viewers now via original programming and mobile accessibility may help secure them for the long haul, when linear TV is just a memory -- or not a memory at all. 
 
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