Reaching the young ones

Nielsen reports that per person, kids aged 2-17 viewed more video streams on the web than those over 18 and spend more time watching video from home (probably because they aren’t away at school nor at work).  The really young kids focus on sites associated with children’s TV shows and toys – no shock there.  Teens tend to focus on chat with Stickam the number 1 video site.

Strangely, they don’t seem to be spending all that much time there – be interesting to see in the numbers change a lot with school ending for the summer.  Teens 12-17 only spend about two and a quarter hours a month watching online video, roughly a minute and a half for every stream they watch.  Kids under 12 watch fewer streams but each one slightly longer – guess their web-induced ADD hasn’t kicked in yet.   Of course, these are just video numbers – Facebook, MySpace, and all the other places kids hang out are on top of this.

And yet, the gap between the 20% of time spent with media (probably even higher with this group) and the 7% of ad dollars spent in these media is still wide (yes, I”m aware that several commentators think this is unimportant – fodder for another post).  Like all of us, marketers fall into the comfort zone of doing what they did before just because they did it before.  Change is hard but when things are changing around you, what else can one do but adapt?  Yes, it’s hard to market to kids on the web, especially those under 13.  Yes, COPPA is a pain.  But you’re missing the boat (and your target) if you think you can ignore this data.  Hopefully the dollars will begin to chase the eyeballs and let’s hope as well that the places where these elusive audiences are hanging out run themselves carefully until the revenue arrives.

NOTE:  I woke up this morning and heard that George Carlin has gone on to his cosmc rewards.  More on him later.

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