While every demographic group feels the pandemic’s impact in some way, parents of school-aged kids are uniquely burdened. In our latest survey, 86% of parents said the impact of COVID-19 on their family was high. This group is likely grappling with disruptions on three fronts: their routines, those of their children, and those of their own aging parents.

Forced to adapt, parents are modifying how they occupy their kids’ time and escape from the tumult of the outside world. Movie theaters, once visited by more than 70% of parents, have less than half of those parents visiting again or intending to return. Compare that to streaming new-release movies, a relative rarity pre-COVID, which now have a strong foothold among parents. Also, take note of magazines’ big jump: printed pages with many kid-friendly brands could be a suitable refuge for kids who are on screens for both virtual schooling and leisure time.


In addition to feature films, parents are consuming their kids’ media with them. The highest indexing TV brands among parents are kids/family programming, suggesting a lot of co-viewing, and most of the top indexing streaming apps have a family bent as well, although sports and news are in the mix as well.


Reaching parents and kids understandably a priority for advertisers. Kids influence many purchases in their households, and are driving over $140 billion in spending. Many are expected categories, like toys and school supplies, but some are more surprising like smartphones and automobiles.


Interested in learning more about kids' and parents' media behavior? Read our new report, Connecting Beyond COVID: Finding Kids & Parents in Media Today.

Matt Petterson
Matt Petterson
Matt is the Digital Marketing Manager at MRI-Simmons, whose 10+ year career spans both media production and consumer research. He brings data-driven insights to life in any digital medium and helps thought leaders share actionable expertise across multiple platforms.