The Gist: The most important audience for online streaming platforms to capture may be parents and their children. Among this group, Netflix seems to have a slight lead over Amazon Prime and Hulu, but with the numbers so close, it’s anyone’s game.

Yesterday morning, I read a fascinating article proposing that the fate of video streaming services doesn’t rely on anyone reading this (sorry) – but on kids. Parents no longer drag their kids away from the TV, because the kids aren’t watching TV in the first place. In fact, Disney Channel saw a 28% drop in live viewership during the 2016-2017 season.

This presents major opportunities for platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others, and it’s an opportunity on which they have already begun to capitalize. How so?

Well, 60 of the 400 upcoming programs that Netflix has announced are kids’ programs. That’s an impressive 15% of the lineup. The article goes on to say that more than half of Netflix subscribers watch kids and family programming on a monthly basis. Amazon, which began to produce kids programming 2014, has also been improving its kid-friendly cadence, and HBO GO has as well.

However, our data show that no streaming service has a strong lead. When focusing solely on those who have school-aged children living with them, and simplified to users and non-users, here’s what we find:


34% of Netflix users have school-aged children living with them.


Our data show that 28% of Amazon Prime users are living with school-aged children.


CivicScience survey data show that 29% of Hulu users are parents living with school-aged children.


As you can see, there’s no clear streaming service in the lead among those living with school-aged children. Netflix has a decent lead, with 30% of their subscribers living with school-aged children. Hulu is the runner-up at 29%, with Amazon Prime trailing slightly at 28%.

With a difference of only a few percentage points, it’s really anyone’s game in the competition to capture the interest of parents and their children. Time is ticking, though, as more and more online services begin vying for young viewers.