The Insights Family: Music Drives New Wave of Toys
July 17, 2021 | Digital and social media platforms are acting as incubators for viral music and dance crazes, creating new opportunities for toymakers to incorporate music into their playthings – a top 2021 trend identified by The Toy Association in February and supported by data from The Insights Family, a global leader in kids, parents, and family market intelligence.
“Inspired by the songs they see on social media, families are spending more time singing and dancing together,” said Adrienne Appell, senior vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “Toys that encourage creative music play are becoming commonplace in the toy aisles and visible across a range of categories, including dolls that incorporate music and dance themes, themed toy instruments, screen-free audio players, and more.”
This is supported by The Insights Family’s latest data, which shows that while 96 percent of U.S. children ages 3 to 5 were already listening to music with their parents, since January 2021, 28 percent more families are reportedly listing “making/listening to music” as a family hobby. Digital platforms like YouTube and TikTok (along with video games such as Fortnite and Roblox) are encouraging more musical content creation and personalization, and toymakers are using the latest technologies available to tap into the trend. LEGO VIDIYO is just one example, merging customizable minifigures with AR technology to enable kids to create their own music videos.
The Insights Family’s research found that smart speakers are also helping drive interest in music. With these devices now found in 43 percent of U.S. homes, there has been a 125 percent increase in the proportion of kids ages 3 to 9 using smart speakers to listen to music. This has also contributed to the growing popularity of audio toys and kid-safe smart speakers by 42 percent since February 2021. Examples include Yoto, a “carefully connected speaker” designed to deliver music, stories, podcasts, and radio for children; and Toniebox, which uses physical 'Tonies' toys featuring popular children’s entertainment brands to deliver stories, lullabies, nursery rhymes, and more.
Audio-related toys, content, and experiences present additional opportunities for the toy licensing industry. Over the last six months, 19 percent of kids ages 6 to 9 have made a music-based purchase related to their favorite TV show, video game (11.5%), YouTuber (11%), and movie (5.2%). Travis Scott, who hosted his own concert inside Fortnite, for example, collaborated with McDonald’s to create a line of exclusive Happy Meals toys.
“Children are increasingly looking to interact with these creative products as audio-based content and products continue to rise,” said Jonathan Watson, Chief Product Officer at The Insights Family®. “As more parents also look to these toys to satisfy their demand for screen-free and imaginative, music toys will continue to help support children’s creative development as well.”
The Insights Family (formerly The Insights People), is the global leader in kids, parents, and family market intelligence, providing real-time data on their attitudes, behavior, and consumption patterns. Every year the company surveys more than 362,100 kids and more than 176,800 parents, including 21,300 children ages 3 to 18 in the U.S. These children are age, gender, and nationally representative. Freemium access to The Insights Family real-time data portal is available here.