Consumer Insights: Nickelodeon’s ‘Story of Me’

Jane_Gould by Jane Gould, Consumer Insights, Nickelodeon

As the Millennial generation grows up, Nickelodeon is meeting post-millennials and their families. In its study “Story of Me,” Nickelodeon captures a portrait of this emerging generation of kids, including those born since 2005. These kids, whose eldest members are just turning 9, are growing up markedly different from their Millennial predecessors and demonstrating characteristics that set them apart from generations prior. As for some of its hallmark traits, this cohort of kids is even closer to its parents; places utmost value on being seen as smart and funny by peers and family; and has created its own unique relationship to technology.

Key Findings:

Media & Technology Use
Kids today are being entertained on multiple devices, but TV still reigns, and its importance is growing. Gaming is the top activity across all mobile devices.

  • Media consumption among kids has grown over the past four years to nearly 35 hours per week, presenting an increase of 2.2 hours since 2009.
  • Computer and gaming consoles make up nearly 30% of kids’ daily media consumption.
  • While tablet adoption rates have increased, their adoption only represents 8% of usage.
  • Though computer and smartphone usage is up among kids, gaming is their number-one activity across devices. 96% of kids say they use their computer for gaming, compared to 88% on the tablet and 86% on the smartphone.
  • Three-quarters of kids say they watch short form video on their iDevice, and consuming long-form programming is growing: more than half of kids with an iDevice now watch long-form content, a 23% lift over last year.

Family
Today’s kids have Gen Xers as parents, whose intense parenting style creates tight-knit bonds among family members.

  • 8 in 10 kids say they wish they could spend more time with their parents.
  • Kids have very close relationships with their siblings, with 7 in 10 saying they love their sibling “no matter what.”
  • Kids say they trust their mother more than anyone else, with 93% saying they trust her more than their father, doctor, policemen and the President of the United States.
  • When it comes to making decisions, 94% of families share everything or most things
  • 8 in 10 parents discuss purchases with their kids ahead of time because there are emotional benefits in making decisions together.

Peers
When it comes to making friends or fitting in, kids believe fitting in with peers is less important than being different, which is distinctive from their Millennial predecessors.

  • Kids state that being nice, smart and funny are more important than typical status signifiers like clothing and types of music.
  • 8 in 10 kids say they care more about getting good grades than being popular.

Self-Perception
Most kids today say they are smarter than their peers.

  • 8 in 10 kids today believe that they are smarter than most other kids their age.
  • Humor is important to this generation, with 74% describing themselves as funny, and 50% ranking themselves between 10 and 11 on an 11-point scale–with 11 representing “very funny”.
  • Kids say they are happy, and they have a strong sense of self. They believe they are nice to people, smart and that they make their parents happy.
  • They are self-assured, with 96% saying they believe they can accomplish anything they want to if they work hard enough.

Implications:
The post-Millennials are a distinctive generation, reared by parents with a unique parenting style. When connecting with this group and their families, brands and marketers could benefit from understanding the nuances of this emerging generation, especially considering their collaborative approach to purchasing decisions.

The Methodology:
This data was pulled from 14 Nickelodeon studies conducted between 1999 and 2013 with kids aged 8-14. Device data was pulled from Nickelodeon’s device tracker taken in May of 2013.

Jane Gould is Senior Vice President of Consumer Insights for Nickelodeon.

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