Study: Families Shift Away from Linear TV for Kids & Family Content

family watching TV
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MENLO Park, Calif.—Families—usually the target audience for primetime TV—are losing interest in linear TV for kids and family content according to a survey from Future Today, a provider of family-oriented AVOD services. 

“More families have shifted away from traditional linear TV altogether,” said Vikrant Mathur, Co-Founder, Future Today. “As that has occurred, it’s important to better understand how families are choosing to view content and what ad experiences they find worthwhile, especially as ad-supported video-on-demand viewership in the US surges.”

Key findings from Future Today’s study include: 

More Than 60% Have Cut the Cord Completely
According to Future Today’s research, as an audience, parents who stream kids and family-focused programming are unique, young, diverse, and more engaged than the average streamer. 

Nearly two-thirds (62%) don’t have access to linear TV and 90% say they rarely watch it. Additionally, of the families surveyed, 85% of the parents fall in the 25-44 age range. Thirty six percent are also more likely to identify as Black, while 78% are more likely to identify as Hispanic. Finally, 98% of families polled say they love watching TV and 81% agree that TV is their favorite form of entertainment, making it a key channel for advertisers. 

“For advertisers trying to reach a diverse and engaged audience, buying kids and family-focused inventory presents a rich opportunity,” added Mathur.  

Kids & Parents are Discussing the Ads They See
Future Today found that ads featured in kids and family-oriented streaming programming are engaged with and evaluated across a household, with kids being a key decision maker over purchases and brands.

According to parents, 60% of kids who see ads talk to them about the ads afterwards. This includes broader family-based ads in categories such as Travel, Restaurants, Food Products, Insurance and Auto that are non-kids-centric as parents say 88% of kids who watch these ads are “engaged,” while more than half (52%) ask them to buy what they saw.

“Kids are the CEO of the streaming household,” said Mathur. “If a message resonates with them, they are vocal about it to their parents, influencing purchases and brand equity. For brands that are trying to connect with millennial parents, having a presence on Kids & Family channels not only provides a conduit to the entire household but also sparks conversations that create lasting brand equity. ” 

More than 300 families were polled for the study. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.