YouTube, FAST, Netflix: Who Rules the Kids’ Content Playground in the US?

Between 2014 and 2023, even the most famous children's TV Networks lost subscribers. Take Nickelodeon for instance, whose flagship channel’s subscriber count decreased by 14% - while the figure dropped to -27% for Disney Channel. Obviously, the steady decline of Cable TV is nothing new, and such drops could also be explained by the transfer of the best content from TV channels to streaming assets, for instance from Disney Channel to Disney+.This article will address this audience shift, exploring how subscription-based services gradually replaced channels such as Cartoon Network. Also, we’ll investigate which new players entered the Kids Content playground. Kids’ Content on OTT Platforms: Giants vs. Kid-Centric Platforms Let’s have a look at the content offer that’s available for children to stream in the US. The analysis highlights the presence of two different types of actors. First, the OTT giants unsurprisingly offer the highest volume of titles with Prime Video and Disney leading the way. The Mickey Mouse company, aforementioned in the TV Channels analysis, dedicated almost 17% of its catalogue to “Family” content, which is the highest ratio among the top 10 US OTT services. It’s followed by Netflix (10%), which offers popular titles such as Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. In 2024, kids’ content remains a crucial asset that drags subscribers and increases content consumption. Moreover, the children's viewing habits also imply repeated viewings and a strong loyalty to certain IPs, which make Kids’ Content an underrated retention tool. On top of generalist streamers offering children content, other OTT players entered the market with a proposition only made for kids: HooplaKids Plus, the 4th SVOD provider in terms of Family content, is a pre-school edutainment service designed for children at $3.99 per month (ad-free). Another example comes from Paramount, which introduced Noggin, its mobile streaming application as early as 2015. This example illustrates how the players who used to manage dominating TV channels adapted to the digital shift: either by transferring the best children’s content to digital (Disney), or by rolling out a dedicated service (Noggin), or by licensing content to other streamers. Cartoon Network, which is owned by WarnerBros Discovery, has also been made available on Hulu for instance.Pureflix, as shown on the graph, provides more than 250 family-friendly movies: however the service is faith-oriented and less targeted to younger audiences.   What’s to Come for Children-Centred Services During Times of Rationalization? At the time of stream-cutting, when viewers are more cost-conscious to the point of dropping some of their streaming subscriptions, we can expect consumers to converge to services that offer content suitable for children on top of content for older audiences - in only one platform.A recent illustration of this awaited trend comes...

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