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US Families and Technology Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Families and Technology market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

  • Parents: adults aged 18+ with at least one child under age 18 living in the household
  • Nonparents: adults without children under age 18 living in the household (may have adult children)

Families’ use of subscription-based music and video streaming services (eg Spotify, Netflix) and detailed findings on video gaming will not be addressed in this report. Streaming Audio – US, October 2018; and Pay TV – US, November 2018 for detailed coverage of these topics.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Kristen Boesel, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles and Leisure sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Mobile devices and digital platforms have significantly impacted the lives of kids, teens, and parents. Parents are divided on whether this impact is a good thing. They worry about people who may present a threat to their kids online and take varying measures to monitor and control their kids’ tech use. Less tangible threats, like collection of personal data and persuasive app design, do not appear to pose a barrier to the integration of virtual assistants and smart home technology. Kristen Boesel
Senior Lifestyles and Leisure Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Figure 1: Profile of influencer followers, December 2018
        • The dominance of celebrity culture
          • Pop culture drives influencer content
            • Key takeaway
              • Figure 2: Types of accounts followed, December 2018
            • Relationship between influencer and follower
              • Developing a kinship with influencers
                • Key takeaway
                  • Figure 3: Influencer connection and celebrity status, December 2018
                • The impact of influencers on the purchase process
                  • Social media great for building product awareness
                    • Key takeaway
                      • Figure 4: Purchasing on social media, December 2018
                    • Trust in influencer marketing
                      • Users know when they are being sold to
                        • Key takeaway
                          • Figure 5: Trust in influencers, December 2018
                        • Topics searched on different platforms
                          • Areas of interest vary among social sites
                            • Key takeaway
                              • Figure 6: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Reasons for visiting social media sites, December 2018
                            • What it means
                            • Influencer Landscape – What You Need to Know

                              • Influencer content set to continue upward trajectory
                                • Celebrities dominate the discussion
                                • The Influencer Marketing Landscape

                                  • FTC regulates sponsored social posts
                                    • Sponsored post volume on the rise
                                      • Figure 7: Sponsored post volume, January 2017-December 2018
                                    • Influencers earning top dollar for posts
                                      • Consumers looking to corporations to share values
                                        • Media consumption dominates daily activities
                                          • Heavy investments in digital advertising continue
                                          • Types of Accounts Followed

                                            • Half of social media users follow accounts they don’t personally know
                                              • Figure 8: Profile of influencer followers, December 2018
                                            • Social amplifies celebrity status
                                                • Figure 9: Types of accounts followed, December 2018
                                              • Women follow accounts with online clout
                                                • Figure 10: Types of accounts followed – Select items, by gender, December 2018
                                              • Younger consumers looking for new voices
                                                • Figure 11: Types of accounts followed – Select items, by age, December 2018
                                              • Black, Hispanic users seek out entertainers
                                                • Figure 12: Types of accounts followed, by race and Hispanic origin, December 2018
                                            • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                                              • Creating relationships between consumer and viewer
                                                • Some cracks showing in new communication
                                                  • New influencers on new platforms
                                                  • What’s In?

                                                    • Going for small and smaller
                                                      • Who’s doing this well?
                                                        • Figure 13: @thesorrygirls “Google Pixel” post, November 2017
                                                      • Emphasizing authenticity
                                                        • Who’s doing this well?
                                                          • Figure 14: @jayversace “Reebok” post, October 2018
                                                        • Partnering equity with exposure
                                                          • Who’s doing this well?
                                                            • Figure 15: @drinkbabe “Christmas” post, December 2018
                                                          • Politics on the platform
                                                            • Who’s doing this well?
                                                              • Figure 16: @ocasio2018 “Christmas” post, December 2018
                                                          • What’s Out?

                                                            • Strategizing based on follower count
                                                              • Getting influencers to follow through
                                                                • Dangerous products receive backlash
                                                                  • Figure 17: @jameelajamil Twitter post, November 2018
                                                                • “Sponcons” and the art of faking influence
                                                                • What’s Next?

                                                                  • Using avatars as influencers
                                                                    • Products to make anyone an influencer
                                                                      • Finding the next platform
                                                                        • Multi-channel networks for more integrated exposure
                                                                          • Getting younger and more creative with creators
                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Entertainment more important than education on social media
                                                                              • Bring on the fun
                                                                                • Difficult to get a non-follower
                                                                                  • Different platforms attract unique interests
                                                                                    • Account discovery tends to be organic
                                                                                      • Learning from products via social media
                                                                                        • High expectations for influencer content
                                                                                          • Consumer segmentation highlights opportunities
                                                                                          • Categories Followed

                                                                                            • Key opportunity
                                                                                              • Category diversity shows preference for entertainment
                                                                                                • Fun accounts are key to influencer content
                                                                                                  • Educational accounts have their audience
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: How To Cake It welcome video, January 2019
                                                                                                  • Life advice low in viewers, high in engagement
                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Categories followed, December 2018
                                                                                                  • Gender gap reveals distinct differences
                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Categories followed, by gender, December 2018
                                                                                                  • Young adults want to be artistic
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Categories followed – Select items, by age, December 2018
                                                                                                  • Black, Hispanic users get inspired
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Categories followed, by race and Hispanic origin, December 2018
                                                                                                • Qualities of a Good Influencer

                                                                                                  • Key opportunity
                                                                                                    • Fun content beats practical…
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Qualities of a good influencer, December 2018
                                                                                                    • …except for brand posts
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Reasons to follow brands on social media, December 2018
                                                                                                    • Younger users looking for a break from the norm
                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Qualities of a good influencer – Select items, by age, December 2018
                                                                                                    • Parents more likely to seek validation
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Qualities of a good influencer – Select items, by parental status, December 2018
                                                                                                  • Reasons to Not Follow Influencers

                                                                                                    • Key opportunity
                                                                                                      • Many don’t see the value in influencer accounts
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Reasons to not follow influencers, December 2018
                                                                                                      • Older users need value demonstrated
                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Reasons to not follow influencers – Select items, by age, December 2018
                                                                                                    • Platforms to Use and Discover

                                                                                                      • Key opportunity
                                                                                                        • Overview
                                                                                                          • Facebook
                                                                                                            • Instagram
                                                                                                              • YouTube
                                                                                                                • Pinterest
                                                                                                                  • Snapchat
                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Reasons for visiting social media sites, December 2018
                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Reasons for visiting social media platforms, by social media platform, December 2018
                                                                                                                • Tools to Discover New Accounts

                                                                                                                  • Key opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Sharing drives new account discovery
                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Tools to discover new accounts, December 2018
                                                                                                                    • Younger users more actively seeking
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Tools to discover new accounts – Select items, by age December 2018
                                                                                                                  • Influencers and Product Promotions

                                                                                                                    • Key opportunity
                                                                                                                      • Plenty of opportunities to learn and buy on social media
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Purchasing on social media, December 2018
                                                                                                                      • Little trust that influencer promotion is genuine
                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Trust in influencers, December 2018
                                                                                                                      • Product associations can have consequences for influencers
                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Unfollowing accounts that promote products, December 2018
                                                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Influencers

                                                                                                                      • Key opportunity
                                                                                                                        • The role of influencers in media
                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Influencer connection and celebrity status, December 2018
                                                                                                                        • Learning from social media (over and over again)
                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Learning from social media, December 2018
                                                                                                                        • Follower count doesn’t affect perceptions of influencers
                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Attitudes toward microinfluencers, December 2018
                                                                                                                      • Consumer Segmentation

                                                                                                                          • Factors
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Consumer segmentation, December 2018
                                                                                                                            • Fame Followers (43%)
                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                  • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Consumer segmentation – Fame Followers, by demographics, December 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Connected Confidantes (30%)
                                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Consumer segmentation – Connected Confidantes, by demographics, December 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Mellow Monitors (27%)
                                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Consumer segmentation – Mellow Monitors, by demographics, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                          • Terms
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                                                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Correspondence analysis – Principal map – Reasons for visiting social media sites, December 2018