As kids grow up and develop their own tastes in entertainment, they find themselves leaving some of their childhood interests behind. With the increase in technology across all ages, a lot of the content that once interested kids is no longer as attention grabbing as it once was.
According to The Guardian, the top 20 channels on YouTube Kids had more than 5.2 billion views in October of 2015 alone, and that number has been increasing in the years since. One of the main reasons why platforms like YouTube attract such a large audience of children is because they are more able to effectively keep up with the trends than major networks. Cable television cannot be created as quickly as a lot of YouTube content because the episodes have to be pre-recorded.
Because platforms like YouTube do not have to be confined to airing schedules or show seasons, the channels have an easier time adapting to what’s trending. The average kids’ show has anywhere from three to eight seasons. Considering the amount of money that has to be put into the show during production and having to pre-record many of the episodes, it is easy to see why network-led television has a hard time keeping up with what is popular with kids.
Television corporations also have a hard time attracting kids to their television channels because they are projecting to the wrong audience. An example of this would be Disney. Currently, a lot of Disney content consists of the rebooting of older content that was popular in years prior. Even Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+ is based primarily on the aspect of nostalgia. Reboots of beloved classics like “That’s So Raven” and “Kim Possible” are more likely to appeal to the audiences that first watched them. Formulas that worked for children’s television when these shows first aired do not work as well with the children that are watching them today.
If large television corporations want to ensure their younger audiences are continuing to watch them, then they should take a look at popular kids content outside the realm of cable television. Corporations could keep track of the kid-related content trends on streaming services and pay attention to what is attracting younger audiences and use this to their advantage when recording their shows. Obviously, pre-recording could still cause shows to be behind on some trends, but this would still be more efficient than looking towards reboots.