We are Family, Families, Children's TV, Linear TV, Television
Sky Kids currently operates as a video on demand (VOD) service, which makes total sense as there is a load of existing research around content viewing that tells us that there has been a shift from linear TV to VOD. So many of us are used to having everything at our fingertips and the thought of having to wait until a certain time to watch something just seems absolutely ludicrous.
But Sky has recently found out that actually for families with children aged 7 and under, sitting down to watch linear TV together is actually quite a big part of their day. In light of this, Sky kids will be offering a new ad-free linear channel from February 2023, included in the Sky kids package. The channel will feature a mix of Sky originals and acquired series’, giving viewers a similar variety to the VOD service.
Sky kids’ new proposition got us thinking about linear TV - what are the benefits of it for the audience, and will it always have a place in the content viewing landscape, particularly for children and their parents?
I would argue that a large appeal of linear TV from a family perspective is the fact that there’s a specific time of the day when a show airs and everyone in the family knows where they need to be. This can be a benefit for quite a few reasons, such as:
But despite these things, can linear TV really compete with the plethora of VOD services available that allow children and families to watch whatever they want, whenever they want and for however long they want (no tantrums when the content is over because you can roll onto the next ep!!)?
I think there is definitely a place for linear TV, because it focuses so much on bringing together families at a specific time of the day and we know spending time together is more and more important these days, but I do believe it’s place in the TV viewing landscape is still a smaller one than VOD.