Netflix has changed TV consumption behavior all around the world, but first and foremost in the US. It enabled many households to become cord cutters, turning their backs on traditional cable TV and relying on internet services like Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, YouTube TV, and others instead. The advantage with many of these is that they have no or barely any advertisement, compared to regular TV. This has implications on kids in these households, too, saving them from up to 400 hours of ads a year.
Babysitter agent Local Babysitter calculated these numbers by comparing children's TV consumption across different households in the US. To do that, the company combined two sets of data. First, it looked at the average time kids spend watching TV, which is 1,600 hours a year for 2- to 5-year-old children and 1,450 hours for 6- to 11-year-olds (which is a scary metric, since that adds up to 32 hours of TV a week for the former). Second, the agency found out that an average hour on television includes about 15 minutes of advertisements. Thus, it calculated that year over year, younger children are spared from 400 hours of ads, while older kids see 360 hours less of them.
Now, we have to keep in mind that this study is probably far from accurate since it just took two unrelated numbers and read data into it. We don't know how many ad breaks there are during kids' shows, for example – instead, the company uses an average for all TV channels. Also, while some households have no cable TV at all, others use a combination of traditional broadcasting and internet streaming services.
But fundamentally, Local Babysitter's findings ring true – if kids are watching Netflix instead of TV, they're spared from hours and hours of advertisement. In a next step, I would be interested in a scientific study that inspects what implication this has on kids and whether they're more susceptible to ads later in life.
- Local Babysitter