Nick Richardson, founder and ceo, talks through some of the changes already being seen in its data due to COVID-19 measures.
If I had a £1 for every time, I used the word ‘unprecedented’ then I would be a rich man, but there really is no other word to describe the challenges we are all facing today.
While it may feel at times that the world is on ‘pause’, it is not the case when it comes to kids. They are experiencing this real-life adventure thriller first-hand and the impact this will have on their attitudes, behaviour and consumption will be truly significant.
In my opinion, history is going to very much remember this time in three periods… ‘BC’ Before Coronavirus, ‘DC’ During Coronavirus and ‘AC’ After Coronavirus.
Thankfully for us and our clients we are in a fortunate position – Coronavirus has had no impact on the actual delivery of our service. We continue to survey more than 3,000 children a week across nine countries (you will have hopefully seen our exciting announcement about Brazil & Mexico launching in March), which means that our real-time portal continues to update, and our amazing team of researchers continue to analyse our data, providing clients with the insight to inform their decision making.
However, 2020 is clearly not going to be the year we had all planned for; in many cases I see 2020 and 2021 merging from a budgeting and planning perspective. Not getting the chance to move our respective businesses as far forward as we may have wanted and planned for will be frustrating, but the positive is we can now take this time to consider if our strategies and plans are properly fit for purpose.
In my mind, the first part of planning is understanding, followed by audience definition but the problem is any data pre-Coronavirus is now out of date; even your regular retail sales data is probably proving less insightful than usual. So, if you are not currently working with us, I would encourage you to reach out. Our real-time data portal provides you with real-time data and information, enabling clients to gain valuable insight to help them plan and adapt to a constantly evolving world during and after Coronavirus.
Just wanted to share some of the significant changes we have seen in our data:
- Anxiety levels among teens have understandably grown over the past month. In the UK, 62% of children are feeling anxious, up 35% on the last year’s average. In the US, 64% of teens say they are anxious and in Europe, these figures soar to 72% and 68% respectively in Spain and Italy; all countries registering higher rates than we were seeing a year ago.
- Playing with board games has become an increasingly popular past-time over the last month; increasing as a favourite toy to play with across the US (+85%), UK (+67%), Germany (+82%), Italy (+62%), Spain (+57%) and India (+20%). While in France playing card games is up +29%.
- In the UK, the Houseparty app has grown substantially in the last month, our data states that 150,000 kids aged 5-18 have used it to chat in the last month, up from an average across the last year of just 13,000!
- In Italy, the number of kids using Netflix up from 39.5% to 48.5% since lockdown, and the number of kids using Netflix at least daily up from 26% to 40%.
- Minecraft’s popularity soars as a game, app and toy across all markets.
- The growth of ‘in-game chat’ has also proved more popular this month as children increasingly seeking out opportunities to connect via a shared experience or interest. In the UK we have seen a 73% increase in this form of connection, while the US has seen a smaller yet significant +13% growth in this area.
- The US overall has seen smaller, niche platforms breaking much more so than other countries across the last month. Although Instagram and Facebook Messenger remain the most used by around a quarter of all 5-18s, platforms like Discord, Telegram, Line Messenger and Meow Chat have all demonstrated substantial usage increases.
- In the UK, esports has begun to open up to a younger demographic with 18.3% of 5-10s watching esports on screen in March v 13.6% across the previous three months.
We have also seen how these difficult times have provided Disney+with a far easier landing into the market. Despite only been released on March 24, our early data at the time of writing (March 27) suggest 8.1% of kids are already accessing the platform – which would be equivalent to 1 million children in the UK.
There is no doubt that there are going to be challenges over the coming days, weeks and months – but as you reflect, reconsider and revaluate your plans, be assured that we are here to help however we can. So please don’t hesitate in getting in contact if there is anything we can do to support you.