As working parents find themselves at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are on the lookout for things to entertain and educate their out-of-school and out-of-daycare children, often turning to television and streaming services for help.
But which services have the best content for kids? According to a recent survey conducted by YouGov, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime are the leaders in children’s content.
More than three in five (62%) American parents say Netflix has good entertainment content for children, while 34 percent say it has good educational content.
Netflix’s spot at the top of the list is the result of a years-long effort to build a collection of children’s titles, including original programs such as “Carmen Sandiego” and “Ask the Storybots,” as well as offers from big-name creators like Nickelodeon.
But 2019 brought the dawn of the modern streaming wars, pitting incumbent Netflix and Amazon Prime against newcomers Disney and Apple TV+, both of which came armed with libraries of children’s titles of their own.
YouGov’s recent survey shows Disney+ — whose bread and butter is its catalogue of children’s content going back decades — is nipping on the heels of Netflix, with 57 percent of US parents who say it has good entertainment content and 33 percent who say it has good educational content. Disney shows titles like “Sofia the First” and Pixar movies like “Coco” have migrated from Netflix to Disney+ as contracts ended.
A majority (51%) of parents also believe Amazon Prime has good entertainment content for kids, while 29 percent say it has good educational content. Just over a quarter (27%) of parents say Apple TV+ — another relative newcomer to the streaming world — has good entertainment content, while roughly one in 10 (9%) say it has good educational content.
These streaming service giants are also up against traditional linear cable TV, which nearly two in five (38%) American parents say has good entertainment content and roughly one in five (22%) say has good educational content.
Apart from consumer demand, COVID-19 is also affecting production and distribution. While social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have halted most television and movie production, animated features — including children's titles — can still be produced since artists and modelers can work at home, Michael Hirsh, chief executive of Wow! Unlimited Media Inc., told the Wall Street Journal. Further, with most theatres closed, movie studios have been releasing features on video-on-demand platforms; Disney+ added Frozen 2 to its catalogue months early.
Meanwhile, YouGov’s findings about children’s content are in line with what US adults in general view as must-have services. According to the most recent trended data compiled for Variety Intelligence Platform, Almost half of Americans rated Netflix as a must-have service, while
close to a third said so of Amazon Prime Video, and over a fifth named Hulu. Rounding out the top five must-haves were Disney+ and cable TV.
Methodology: Total sample size was 1,295 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between March 26 - 30, 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).