YPulse research shows that more than four in five European Millennial parents have already given their kids a tech device, meaning Gen Alpha is having a “mobile media childhood,” a topic we dug into in our recent Gen Alpha Trend Report. The most popular devices are tablets, TV, smartphones, or laptops, and that’s because Millennial parents appreciate the help that screens give them when it comes to looking after their children. Video content is one of the main sources of entertainment for Gen Alpha, as well as a go-to parenting solution for Millennial parents. With that in mind, what are the top video services that best capture the attention of Gen Alpha in Western Europe? In our recent WE Media Consumption Report, YPulse asked Millennial parents, and here’s what we found:
Netflix is Gen Alpha’s main source of video content
More than two in five Millennial parents say their children are using Netflix weekly or more, making it the streaming platform Gen Alpha turns to the most to watch video content. In fact, our data reveals that streaming platforms in general are the top type of entertainment Gen Alpha is using to watch video content, with nearly four in five Millennial parents saying their kids are using streaming services to watch videos (78%), +15pts more than social media (63%).
Why are parents trusting Netflix the most for their children’s entertainment? Data from YPulse’s Representation in Action (Revisited) Trend Report shows that two-thirds of Millennial parents in Western Europe are more interested in content for their kid(s) when there is a diverse cast / characters. And that’s something they find on Netflix. The streaming giant has put a lot of effort into making diverse shows for young consumers: two years ago the brand commissioned a diversity study to better understand how to improve representation on the platform. And the results of these efforts are reflected in Netflix’s children’s content, too. Take the example of Spirit Rangers, a new kids’ series set on highlighting Indigenous representation. The animated show follows three sibling animals who help protect their sacred home, a national park. The storylines follow real Indigenous tales, and showcase the lives of Indigenous peoples who grow up on reservations. As a result of their efforts, Millennial parents think of Netflix’s content as truly diverse: YPulse’s research from WE Media Consumption Report shows that it’s the top media source they think offers entertainment that they feel is inclusive and diverse.
Millennial parents might also appreciate the fact that Netflix decided to remain ad-free for all kids’ content offered on the streaming platform, catching up with a move that Disney+ did a few months earlier. Speaking of Disney+, it is worth noting that the platform is the second biggest source of video content for Gen Alpha, and it’s a real accomplishment for the streaming platform that was made available to Western Europeans less than three years ago.
Gen Alpha is also using social media to watch video content
In our The TikTok Effect Trend Report, YPulse informed you that young consumers are using social media for entertainment purposes a lot more than to connect with friends and family. Social media platforms are major actors in the entertainment industry, and it explains why six of the top ten sources Gen Alpha watches video content from are social media platforms. Access to a phone at an early age also helps them to consume media at a younger age than previous gens, and that includes their favourite social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. We also know from WE Social Media Monitor survey that almost three-quarters of European Millennial parents’ children are already on social media (71%), meaning Gen Alpha is completely accustomed to scrolling through their feeds. YouTube is the most popular social media platform among Gen Alpha when it comes to watching videos, with more than a third of European Millennial parents reporting their children using it (35%). TikTok is following behind, confirming its success among young European consumers—especially Gen Z.
There are growing concerns in Western Europe about young consumers spending too much time on their phones—and on social media specifically. In the U.K., a recent study shows that three out of four young Brits dislike their bodies, and nearly half admit to becoming withdrawn, less sociable or bullied because of the pressure they feel from showing their physical appearance on socials. Meanwhile, a new study revealed that the time French toddlers spent in front of screens has significantly increased in the last few years. Now, French 2-year-olds are watching an average of 56 minutes of video content every day, which is way above the official guidelines from the World Health Organization. Despite all these worries and criticism, it’s unlikely Millennial parents will stop giving screens to their children to watch video content—and that means brands should be working to reach Gen Alpha there.