The kids digital advertising market is expected to hit $1.2 billion and represent 28 percent of all advertising directed at kids, according to a report by accounting firm PwC. Digital kids company Super Awesome commissioned the report.

In the past, kids were targeted almost exclusively through TV spending. But the PwC Kids Digital Advertising Report 2017 found that the under-13 audience has shifted its attention to digital media consumption on platforms such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs. The reported measured the ad markets in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

“The kids media market is going through the same transition which the mainstream space has been experiencing in recent years,” said Mark Maitland, media strategy partner at PwC, in a statement. “There are very strong (and structural) tailwinds driving the growth of the kids digital ad market, which we believe could reach 28 percent of total ad spend by 2019.”

Above: Digital ads will account for a bigger percentage of all kids advertising by 2019.

Image Credit: PwC

This market is growing by 25 percent a year, and brands are rapidly shifting their spending on ads to digital. PwC said that increasing data privacy requirements for kids’ online activities (e.g. COPPA in the U.S. and GDPR in Europe) continue to drive demand for compliant digital media technology, where kids are only shown ads that are appropriate for them.

PwC expects some advertisers and brands to move away from publisher-centric relationships and adopt purpose-built media platforms to deliver scale and efficiency. The firm drew attention to the emergence of this “kidtech” space, specialist platforms, and technology combining data privacy with extremely large-scale audience reach.

Growth is also expected in programmatic advertising aimed at kids. It’s a complex proposition, given the compliance requirements, but one that emerging platforms are now solving. PwC estimates that 10 to 20 percent of digital ad spend for kids will be on compliant programmatic advertising by 2019.

In an email, SuperAwesome CEO Dylan Collins said, “After decades of dominance by TV, the entire sector is going through a structural shift which is clearly going to reshape the landscape over the next few years.”

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