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Chapter 1: Online Video

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Online video

Online video apps 2022

What we found for online video apps

While the streaming wars waged on across 2022, kids’ eyes were still fixed on community created-content on long-term favorite YouTube. So much so that children managed to raise their average daily time on YouTube by 20% over 2022, hitting our report’s all-time high of 67 minutes a day.

Despite most streaming services facing heavy costs over 2022, with estimates suggesting losses of up to $10bn USD, children still managed to up their video content time by 18% over the course of the year. On average, kids worldwide watched 45 minutes of online video daily, with the popularity of long-term favorites YouTube, Netflix, and Disney+ rising in 2022. In terms of growth, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video were 2022’s winners, experiencing an increase in popularity of 7% and 10% respectively.


In all countries analyzed in our report, YouTube was the clear winner in terms of popularity, and by a considerable margin. Globally, 63% of kids use YouTube, with that number rising to 67% in the UK, and an incredible 73% of children in Spain, for the second year running. YouTube also claimed the top spot in the US (60% of kids) and Australia, where 58% of children used the online video service.

Netflix was kids’ second choice in 2022, with 39% popularity worldwide and in the US. More Spanish and British children use Netflix than their Australian counterparts: 41% and 43% of children use the streaming platform, as opposed to just 34% in Australia.

One of the only platforms in our top 5 to experience a dip in global popularity was live streaming service Twitch, with only 11% of kids tuning in over 2022, compared to 16% in 2021. This trend was similar across all countries analyzed, with Twitch going down at least one position in Spain, the UK, and Australia, and falling out of the top 5 completely in the United States.

I look at airplanes and watch them fly around at airports. It’s really fun and interesting. I learn a lot.
- Boy, 12, Australia
I play games, talk to friends, and create videos that I post on my YouTube channel. My devices let me connect with people and make new friends, and also create things. I create videos for people to enjoy.
- Girl, 11, US
online video apps 2022
Online video apps 2022
online video apps 2022
online video apps 2022


Globally, kids spent 18% more time watching online video content in 2022 than in 2021, especially on YouTube, where viewing time was up by 20%. Children averaged over an hour on YouTube daily, tuning in for 67 minutes per day, the highest number seen since 2019 when our reporting began. US kids were the heaviest watchers of YouTube, devouring video after video for 77 daily minutes, up 26% from 2021’s 61 minutes per day.

Time on Netflix also increased overall, but by a smaller margin: Globally children watched Netflix for 7% longer in 2022 (48 mins/day versus 45), and for 12% longer in the UK and Australia.

Not all platforms experienced such a positive trend, however. Time spent on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video decreased globally by 15%, down from 47 mins/day to 40 on the home of Marvel, and from 40 mins/day down to 34 on Prime. Following its dip in popularity, Twitch also lost viewing time, most notably in Australia, where kids watched Twitch for 27% less time in 2022.

I create content on TikTok and find new drawing techniques on YouTube. There’s some content I don’t like to watch, like violence and horror. It can be very distracting and stops me from doing my schoolwork.
- Girl, 11, Australia
online video apps 2022
online video apps 2022
Online video apps 2022
Online video apps 2022
online video apps 2022

While time spent watching streaming services remained relatively constant globally, in the US, and in Spain, some countries bucked the trend. Kids in Australia and the United Kingdom hit the pause button more frequently, with the largest dip seen in the UK, where children decreased their daily time by 13 minutes between April and May.

The year’s all-time high was set by US children in January, who streamed online content for 53 minutes a day in the first month of the year. Spanish children were the least glued to their screens across the year, averaging just 30 minutes a day overall, and 27 minutes a day during the back-to-school season in October.

I watch music videos and videos about kinetic sand on YouTube. It occupies me and helps pass the time since I don’t play with toys.
- Boy, 11, US


With popularity comes infamy, at least when it comes to the streaming platforms most blocked by parents across 2022. Globally, and in every country analyzed, families chose to most frequently block YouTube for the third year in a row, attempting to put an end to the endless loop of recommended content. Twitch fell from third to fourth place, perhaps as a result of its dip in popularity, while Netflix and Disney+ claimed the top blocking spots in households around the world.

Online video apps 2022
Online video apps 2022
Online video apps 2022
It's addictive when watching videos that just lead into each other. There are lots of things that don't get checked and it can be scary.
- Girl, 11, UK

What we expect for online video

According to The Streaming Generation report, 44% of families choose a streaming service based on it having children’s content they can watch together. With 78% of parents looking for shows that give the family “something to talk about together”, and a further 73% looking for programmes that teach them or their children something they didn’t already know, it’s clear that the demand for intentional co-viewing is strong, allowing families to bond over the video content they watch together.

In terms of the streaming services families are opting for, 2023 looks set to become another volatile year. Netflix released its Basic plan in early November 2022, reducing prices in exchange for advertising space. For families, this strategy will influence in one of two ways: with many nations in the full throes of a cost of living crisis, paying less monthly could prove a popular choice for many households. On the other hand, it may not be enough to convince families who prefer the ad-free environment of on-demand streaming, who may be tempted to jump ship towards other services offering more family-friendly content at a more affordable price.

We anticipate that most of the streaming giants will be watching Netflix Basic’s numbers with baited breath, allowing the subscription service to test the waters first before releasing (or not) their very own ad-based plans. For families concerned about advertising exposure, this could be a pivotal change in the way kids consume online video: why pay for ad-based services when conventional TV and other video platforms like YouTube offer the same, for free?

What we recommend for online video

Online video apps 2022
Pay attention to quality, not quantity

How much is too much? The answer really depends on how old the child is, their emotional maturity, and how they are able to balance other aspects of school and home life with how they spend time on technology. That’s not to say that there should be no limit, however. With increased access to unlimited, on-demand content, kids may be exposed to violent or sexual content, which can cause harm to developing minds. 

There are so many ads now, and so many short videos that keep you watching your phone for ages, wasting time.”
– Boy, 11, Spain

online video apps 2022
Encourage intentional viewing

While there’s nothing wrong with using video content as a boredom killer, this shouldn’t be the norm for either kids or adults. Intentional viewing helps to encourage more conscious choices, and promote content that supports family values, or likes and dislikes. To help keep viewing intentional, families can disable autoplay and set limits on streaming apps to discourage the endless scroll and the automatic transition from one video to the next.

I watch videos and do research for school. I don’t get out as much because of the tech time I spend on certain days.”
– Girl, 11, USA

Online video apps 2022
Make co-watching the norm

Co-watching doesn’t mean watching over kids’ shoulders – it’s a way for families to be selective about the type of content they watch together. This strategy allows parents to understand the type of content their kids enjoy, and to bond as a family through shared interests.

As kids get older, they may want to start exploring series and movies on their own, as long as the content is age-appropriate. Checking online reviews or watching the content through first before letting older teens solo watch is a good way to check it ties in with family values.

Online video apps 2022
Be mindful of livesteam content

Livestreams are always risky, as there’s no way to predict the type of content which kids could be exposed to during a broadcast. Blocking apps and streaming services where little control can be administered over the content is one option families have to help keep children away from risky livestreams.

Online video apps 2022
Make use of parental control

Many streaming services now offer native parental control features. These features can often be minimal and vary heavily from service to service, making it hard for parents to keep track of rules across multiple platforms – and making it easier for harmful content to slip through the cracks. For restrictions that help keep children safe and entertained, we recommend teaming native parental controls with some co-watching and an independent parental control tool.


Download your copy of the Report “From Alpha to Z: raising the digital generations” plus the Annex with all the data.