How children affect Canadians’ consumption habits

YouTube and Netflix are more popular among families with kids, but those without young ones are catching up.

Your children may have a major effect on what kind of content (and data) you’re consuming.

That’s according to a report from Solutions Research Group, which surveys more than 1,000 Canadians every quarter on consumption habits. The study found that long-form video is becoming more commonplace on mobile – but it’s significantly more popular among people with children (for the purpose of SRG’s study, “children” are defined as those under 12 and does not include teens from age 13 to 17).

According to SRG, 50% of respondents surveyed from households with children said they’ve watched a mobile video clip with a duration of more than 10 minutes in the last month. That’s compared to 29% of households without young children.

SRG has been compiling this data since 2011. While households with children have always out-watched mobile video compared to households without children, the consumption has gone up significantly. In 2011, 26% of households with children watched long-form videos on mobile (compared to 9% of households without children).

The biggest source of video entertainment is YouTube. Among households with young children, 80% have watched a YouTube video (mobile or desktop) in the last week, compared to 63% of households without children. For Netflix, 59% of families with kids have used the service in the last week, compared to 38% of households without kids or with kids.

But growth trends indicate that families without kids could soon catch up. Between 2011 and 2018, YouTube consumption has gone up 27% for families with children, compared to 31.3% growth for families without children.

Meanwhile, Netflix consumption among families with children has gone up 436.4% since 2011, compared to 660% growth for families without children.

Households with young children are also currently more likely to not subscribe to traditional television through cable, IPTV, satellite or other standard delivery methods. More than one-fifth (21%) of households with kids define themselves as “internet-only” Canadians, compared to 15% of families without kids.

In the case of the “internet-only” trend, households with kids are still outpacing households without. While families with kids were once more likely to identify as “internet-only” households (9% of families versus 7% in 2011), “internet-only” rates among families with kids have gone up by 200% since then, while rates among families without kids have increased by 66%.

Tablet ownership also tracks higher among households with kids, albeit only slightly. In 2018, 58% of households with children report owning tablets, compared to 44% of households without children (in 2014, 46% of households without children owned tablets compared to 35%. In 2011, that total was 7% and 5% respectively).