Children in the UK are still hooked on YouTube, according to new figures from broadcasting regulator Ofcom.
YouTube is used by three quarters of 5-15 year-olds, and they’re more likely to pick YouTube as their favourite platform than any on-demand platform or TV channel. 45% chose YouTube, putting the platform well ahead of the likes of Netflix, Amazon, BBC and ITV.
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89% of 12-15 year olds watch YouTube for around 11 hours a week, according to the regulator’s latest findings.
Ofcom’s findings indicate that cartoons and animation are the most popular YouTube fare for younger viewers, while older kids preferred “funny” videos, pranks and music videos.
What children are watching on YouTube is changing though – with the growing popularity on “nano-influencers”. These offer similar content to the influencers you’ve heard of before, but on a smaller, more localised scale.
More children than ever said they would turn to YouTube to learn how to build, craft and create things. This trend will likely be more pleasing to parents than the growth of nano-influencers, with 60% of kids saying they would look to YouTube for creative advice, compared to 42% in 2018.
The trend towards nano-influencers, and towards YouTube generally, (as opposed to TV or VoD platforms,) could be based on relatability.
As Ofcom suggested in its report: “In addition, a number of children indicated that they felt YouTube content was more relatable and authentic than the perhaps more polished content on other platforms. For example, a 15-year old boy in the study said that he preferred YouTube over Netflix because ‘it’s made by normal people’.”
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30% of children aged 12-15 also said that they used YouTube to follow news stories, but BBC One and Two was the highest scoring news source, with Facebook close behind.