Young kids’ YouTube viewing dominated by consumerism, ads

By | November 24, 2020
young boy watching YouTube on a tablet
(Michigan Medicine/Getty Images)

A recent report by Michigan Medicine and non-profit Common Sense Media finds children are often consuming pervasive and inappropriate advertising, violence, and other questionable content while watching online videos. Children ages eight and under are now spending more time on YouTube than ever before, with online video viewing for the first time surpassing live television and streaming video services like Netflix.

In fact, one in four YouTube videos watched by children ages 0-8 were actually intended for older audiences, according to lead author Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician and researcher at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “With growing access to mobile devices, even very young children are becoming avid YouTube consumers, even though this platform was designed for adults,” says Radesky.