In the following column, Gonzalo Martins, Media Analyst at BB Media, breaks down the trends in the consumption of animated content internationally.
It is difficult for many to let go of the idea that Animation, or ‘cartoons’, is a genre intended to entertain young children while they have breakfast before heading to school. However, this preconception is crumbling over time.
According to a report by BB Media, in the second quarter of 2023, in the regions of APAC (Asia Pacific), LATAM (Latin America), and UCAN (United States and Canada), teenagers and young adults aged 16 to 24 – just outside the more traditionally associated age range for watching ‘cartoons’ – are the ones who most consider Animation among their preferred genres for streaming content. Specifically in UCAN, this group represents 47%, followed by the 25 to 34 age group with 37%. The exception is in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), where adults aged 25 to 34 are the ones who most choose the genre, with 32%.
However, those aged 55 and older continue to be a significant part of the Animation audience, with 26% in Latin America and 16% of respondents in APAC. It is worth noting that in this region, Anime is a separate category, showing an 11% penetration in the same age group.
The wide age distribution among Animation enthusiasts comes as no surprise when considering the variety of available content. In fact, BB Media analyzed the most demanded series (both for Anime and Animation) and found that several are targeted at an adult or teenage audience. Titles such as One Piece and Jujutsu Kaisen cater to a younger audience with violent content and mature themes, while the long-running series The Simpsons and South Park are known for their almost strictly adult humor.
It is important, therefore, to let go of the outdated image of the Animation genre as exclusively for children, as it limits the ability to enjoy the product of a historically rich discipline, while also overlooking the potential market to explore with this type of content.