Daytime broadcast TV viewership for kids and teens has soared 200% to 300% on average in the top U.S markets since stay-at-home orders were initiated over the past month and a half. There have also been big hikes in internet-connected device video and gaming console usage among young media users.
During the 9 a..m. to 4 p.m. time period, Nielsen says that for the top 25 markets in the March 16 through April 12, 2020 period, there have been exponentially high spikes for kids and teen viewers -- especially in the Northeast markets.
Total TV market usage in Washington, D.C., for example, was up 551% in ratings for 6-11 viewers, and 413% for 12-17 teen viewers, while Boston saw an increase of 529% for viewers ages 6-11 and 538% for teen viewers. Baltimore saw an increase of 462% for kids ages 6-11; and 340% for teen viewers.
Gains in West Coast markets were more modest: Seattle was up 94% for 6- to-11-year-old viewers and 107% for teens, while Los Angeles was up 165% for kids 6-11 and 156% for teens and San Francisco was up 189% for kids 6-11 and 212% for teens.
This easily tops the gains among adult viewers -- for example, the 25-54 demographic. New York, which has been hit with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and death rate, grew the most, at 114%. Other markets that witnessed big gains were Washington, D.C., at 91%; San Francisco, up 89%; Chicago, up 89%; Philadelphia, up 85%; and Boston, rising 78%.
Internet usage during the daytime hours has grown at almost the same levels for kids/teens --
up nearly 350% for 6- to-11-year-olds and up 225% for teens 12-17.
Gaming console use has also seen gains of 250% for kids ages 6-11 and 225% for teens 12-17.