Consumers of Parental Control Apps

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Consumers of Parental Control Apps

The majority of parents who use parental control monitoring apps/software typically have younger aged children (young teens and younger) and live in North America or Europe. Parents who align with these demographics typically value responsibility, hard work, independence, and good manners, along with happiness. Their behaviors surround a desire to remain strong and hopeful during difficult times, and to focus on spending a lot of time and money on their children. In general, their parenting attitudes are seen as 'intensive' and are focused on resolving problems as a family.

Current trends in the parental control apps/software market are parental controls used to prevent cyberbullying and parental controls used to limit video game time. These trends are being driven by an increase in cyberbullying along with parental concerns surrounding video game addiction. Parental control app/software companies that are performing well in these arenas include NetNanny, Bark, Kidslox and Screentime. A deeper look at this these findings has been provided below:

Psychographics of Parents Who Are Consumers of Monitoring Apps/Software

Parental Controls User Demographics

  • Parent Demographics A survey of 2,000 parents with children between the ages of 3 and 18 found that 51% use parental controls to "limit or monitor their kids' internet and social media," while 53% do the same for TV.
  • Parents who use parental controls who have teenagers are more likely to have younger teens rather than older teens.
  • North America holds a 46.37% share of the global parental control software market, making it the market leader. Europe is the second-largest market for this type of software.
  • Based on these findings, the demographics of parents who use monitoring apps and software are those who have children who are young teens or younger and live in North America or Europe. Therefore, these demographics were used as the basis of this psychographic analysis.

Values

  • Parents who have teens value sharing ideas and talking about things that matter.
  • Among parents in the U.S., the values that are most important to them are responsibility (94%) and hard work (92%).
  • Among U.S. parents who have teens, the values that are most important to them are independence and good manners.
  • Among parents in Germany and Spain, 78-80% say responsibility is a key value for them. Determination and independence also ranked highly in Germany, whereas in Spain, hard work and tolerance ranked most highly.
  • A survey of Canadian parents found that 78% report that "happiness is their ultimate life goal for their children," which was also true for 86% of parents in France.

Behavioral Traits

  • Among parents who have teens, the majority say that during difficult family times, they rely on their strengths as parents and take a hopeful approach to these moments.
  • Studies suggest that parents in the U.S. feel a lot of pressure, to spend a lot of time and money on their kids.
  • A study of 11 Western countries over several decades found that parents are spending an increasing amount of time with their children along with an increasing level of importance being placed on education.
  • "Dutch parents, they say, give their children a lot of freedom; cooperation and teamwork matter more than educational achievement. Yet some changes are taking place; it’s certainly true that children’s time is increasingly scheduled."

Parenting Attitudes

  • Among parents who have teens, the majority believe in having the family resolve problems together by talking about them and working together.
  • A study of parents in the U.S., conducted by Cornell, found that "most parents say a child-centered, time-intensive approach to parenting is the best way to raise their kids."

Parental Control Apps/Software Market Trends

#1: Parental Controls for Cyberbullying

  • A lot of parental control software is designed to help reduce cyberbullying. These controls work by monitoring the child's online activities and spotting certain keywords. This trend is being driven by increasing global rates of cyberbullying.
  • Company Example: NetNanny is a mobile app and software program that sends alerts to parents when certain keywords are used. The program was recommended by Parents magazine as a good app to help prevent cyberbullying. NetNanny receives over 232,000 visitors to its website each month.
  • Company Example 2: Bark is an app that analyzes a child's online activity to identify cases of cyberbullying and then sends a notification to parents (whether the child is the victim or the bully). The app's website receives over 542,000 visitors per month.

#2: Parental Controls for Video Games

  • About This Trend: Across the global market, parental controls for video games hold a market share of 53.3% with a growth rate of 7.82% CAGR. These controls work by limiting the amount of time a child is allowed to play video games. This trend is being driven by parents who seek to help children who have a hard time limiting game time on their own, as these controls are designed to do just that.
  • Company Example 1: Kidslox is an app designed to help prevent video game addiction among children by restricting their access to video games via a number of different methods (e.g. blocking internet access for certain periods of time, disabling games on a child's device). The Kidslox website receives over 50,000 visitors per month and has been downloaded on Google Play over 100,000 times.
  • Company Example 2: Screentime is an app that allows parents to set screen time limits, block-out periods of the day, and provides a range of other features aimed at reducing and monitoring video games and other on-screen activities. The app has been downloaded over 2 million times and the app's website receives over 272,000 visitors per month.

Research Strategy

Overall, it was very challenging to explore the psychographics of parents who use parental control/monitoring apps and software. This is primarily because there does not appear to be any publicly available data, insights, or surveys that specifically explore the psychographics of this cohort. Additionally, it was further challenging to triangulate an understanding of these psychographics, as doing so relies on first gaining an understanding of the unique demographics that make up the cohort and then exploring the psychographics of that demographic set. While an attempt to achieve this was made, ultimately data reflecting such demographics was highly limited and therefore, only a very high-level understanding of these demographics could be attained. Furthermore, research into the psychographics of these demographics across academic reports and surveys provided very little information overall. As most of the available information seems to stem from academic research, it's likely that a greater depth of information is only available in non-publicly available academic journals and databases and is broken up by country rather than broad geographic region, rendering more extensive research on this topic out of scope. Additionally, the majority of information that is publicly available appears to be quite old, rendering it out-of-date, especially considering how the values, attitudes, and behaviors of parents typically shift over time.
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