Daytime TV Usage is Up 300% for Kids During Shutdowns

Family watching TVWith most of America stuck at home over the past couple months, one thing is becoming clear: TV makes for a decent babysitter. 

According to new numbers from Nielsen (likely the most respected name when it comes to television-related data), total TV consumption has skyrocketed among kids and teens since mid-March. Of course, streaming is up across all age groups, but the biggest increase by far is in the 6-11 and in the 12-17 age group. 

Since shutdowns went into effect nationwide, total TV usage is up 250% in ages 12-17 and almost 300% in ages 6-11. On the surface, it’s pretty obvious these ages would see a big boost as they were in school this time last year, but it’s interesting to note that usage in adult age groups rose about 70% at most (and that was in the 18-34 range). 

What this tells us is that for adults, being home just means a change in worksite for the most part. And when you figure in cleaning, cooking, and doing anything but being in the house, there’s just not a lot of time to watch more TV. For kids though, newfound free time just means time on the couch. 

Beyond just total time watched, it’s interesting to compare data in areas that were hardest hit by COVID-19. In several northeast cities, kids 6-11 watch 550% more television and teens 400% more. 

Across all ages, people are simply streaming more these past few months. Whether it’s to catch up on the news, to keep the kids occupied during the day, or to just have a brief distraction, content is being consumed like never before.

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