For some of us parents, our kids spend more time watching YouTuber vloggers or social media stars than TV. This is partially because some of us have given up having traditional cable TV. We rely on streaming services, which don't usually update kids shows the same way they update adult shows. And often, we feel better about giving them a certain amount of time on their phones or tablets versus watching TV. Since kids are spending more time on social media, it's no surprise that even when they are watching traditional TV, they want to see the social media celebrities as the stars.
Some new research from Insight Strategy Groups shows that 8 in 10 kids would watch a show with a YouTuber or Instagrammer they know.
Networks are becoming aware of this as well. Netflix produced a show for two seasons in 2016 by YouTuber Miranda Sings called Haters Back Off. Disney created a whole show about the phenomenon of YouTube stars called Bizaardvark. They cast Jake Paul, who at the time (2016) was one of the most popular YouTubers in the game. He left the show presumably after his very public fall from grace.
Most recently, Nickelodeon has begun airing Ryan's Mystery Playdate, starring Ryan from Ryan ToyReview. Ryan is arguably the most popular YouTuber with kids, and within in weeks of the show beginning to air, Nickelodoen has already picked it up for a second season. Ratings for the show are well into the millions, which is impressive for a kid's show that airs during the day when most kids aren't home. But we all know that Ryan is a friend to all the kids who "know" him.
The study used kids between the ages of five and 12 to examine the trends. Additionally, they spoke to 1,200 U.S. parents of kids between the ages of 2 and 16. Then they spoke with 1,200 kids between 5 and 16 before compiling the data.
Research shows that influencers are really living up to their names. Not only do they want to watch shows starring their favorite stars, they're really taking the recommendations they see on YouTube seriously. 26 percent of the kids in the study claimed to watch a TV show or movie because a influencer recommends it.
No doubt, if more networks get a hold of this information, we are likely to see more YouTubers and other influencers getting their own shows on more mainstream TV.