The worldwide children’s digital advertising market is expected to grow by more than 20% per year between 2018 and 2021, by when it will be worth US$1.7bn, or the equivalent of 37% of all children’s advertising spend.

That is according to PwC, the professional services firm, which worked with UK digital kids’ platform SuperAwesome to produce the Kids Digital Media Report 2019.

PwC’s latest report is an update to one published in 2017 that forecast the global children’s digital advertising market would be worth $1.2bn by 2021 – a sign of how rapidly the digital ecosystem is growing.

According to the latest findings, based on interviews with a range of companies working in the children’s digital media industry, more than 170,000 children go online for the first time every day, while more than 40% of total new internet users in 2018 were children.

As children around the world increasingly spend more time online, the report expects advertisers to follow suit and shift more adspend away from traditional, non-digital, channels.

The biggest winners are expected to be those who serve content that is “kidtech-enabled”, or compliant with digital privacy laws that are designed to protect children.

This is important because PwC estimates that new privacy regulations could protect about 800 million children around the world by 2021, up from approximately 120 million today.

New laws are under discussion in China and India, there is debate in the US about whether privacy laws should be extended to 16-years-old (up from 13) and the General Data and Protection Regulation in Europe has a kids’ component, called GDPR-K.

On top of this, another important trend for advertisers to bear in mind is that, despite the growth of children’s digital ad spending, most content investment for kids is being channelled into subscription services.

For example, Apple, Disney, Netflix and Amazon spend up to $3bn each year on high-quality children’s content, yet this lies behind a subscription paywall, unreached by advertisers.

“As more high-quality kids’ content moves behind subscription paywalls, it could create a potential compliant kids’ inventory shortage in the future for advertisers, as compliant Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) inventory becomes scarcer,” the report said.

Sourced from PwC, SuperAwesome; additional content by WARC staff