Nickelodeon Research Explores Secondary Source Video Viewing

by Katie Bessiere, Research, Nickelodeon
Mobile TV Watching Mobile TV Watching

In this study, Nickelodeon sought a holistic understanding of kids’ viewing behavior for secondary source video, motivations for their behaviors, and what this means for traditional TV viewing. The research uncovered that while short-form video is the main type of video kids watch, any TV viewing is of shows discovered on live TV. It also showed that gaming is a key entry point to video.

Key Findings

Me vs. We
Live TV and secondary source video fulfill different needs. Live TV is more social, lean-back, discovering; secondary source video is more individual, lean-forward, exploratory.

  • Secondary source video is more personal and flexible, offering control and privacy, especially for younger and less independent vieweres.
  • Traditional TV is more likely to be watched in the living room – and with others.

Live TV, YouTube and are discovery platforms.
Traditional TV is still the most influential place to discover new video content. The flow tends to go one way from live to digital: a lot of what kids watch online are shows and characters they know from TV.

  • New shows are found on TV, while secondary source video can deepen the relationship with this content.
  • Live TV drives traffic to the website or app, not the other way around. One-third say what they watch on sites like are shows they’ve seen on TV.

Gaming often precedes secondary source video.
Secondary source video is mainly watched on devices other than the TV. When kids first get hold of these devices, their first thought is to play a game. 

  • Over 1 in 2 kids say that their video session on a device other than a TV usually starts with gaming.


  • Kids are using YouTube for short videos, not short form programming. The way they discover content on this site means they are more likely to come across thematic programming rather than a new series.
  • Gaming is the entry point to video, suggesting an opportunity to use games to bring kids site or app.
  • On-air promos are as important as ever, as live TV remains a key source for discovering new shows.


This study was based on qualitative and quantitative research, including mobile ethnographies; in-home focus groups; a real-time viewing diary featuring more than 500 households; and an online survey among more than 500 kids ages 6-11 and 1,000 parents of 3-11-year-olds.

Related Posts

  • No Related Posts

Want to leave a comment?