More than half of parents unaware their kids can donate to online content creators – report

Virgin Media O2 has released the results of research it commissioned in support of Safer Internet Day, (yesterday), which found that 57 per cent of parents were unaware that children can donate to content creators online.

However, the research shows that donating to streamers is amongst the most popular way for children to spend their money online, with almost a fifth (17 per cent) of parents claiming their young ones have done so. 

In recent years, influenced by the pandemic, there has been a rise in the popularity of content creators and streamers and it is now one of the most popular entertainment industries in the world. Many youngsters and children now see this as potential career path.

Virgin Media O2 commissioned OnePoll to carry out the survey of 1,000 mums and dads of six to 16-year-olds, and 1,000 six to 16-year-olds last week. It reveals that 18 per cent of children who donate to streamers without asking their parents for prior permission do so because they are concerned their parents would say no. They also admit that if they had their own money, whether from pocket money or a part time job, they would be likely (78 per cent) to spend at least part of it donating to their favourite streamers.

Despite 32 per cent of parents admitting that their child is much more likely to watch an online streamer than other forms of entertainment, four out of five parents do not believe they have enough knowledge about the online streaming industry.

However, this isn’t to say all parents are completely against their children donating to streamers. It emerged, if they were asked for permission, parents would allow their children to donate to streamers twice a month. 

Virgin Media O2 and Internet Matters have created online safety tips for children and parents, designed to equip parents with the knowledge to protect their children’s safety in a digital world.

They include using two factor authentication; setting spending limits; using privacy and security settings; teaching money management’ going online with your children, and talking to them about their digital lives.

“Keeping children safe online is at the heart of what we do at Internet Matters, but with the digital landscape is always changing and there are constantly new things for parents to learn and be aware of,£” said Carolyn Bunting MBE, CEO at Internet Matters. “Through our ongoing partnership with Virgin Media O2, we’re hoping to not just raise awareness around the streamer economy but also equip parents with the tools to ensure their children are protected. Our top tips are all straightforward and practical pieces of advice that we hope parents will be able to easily digest take on board, even if they don’t consider themselves to be especially digitally-savvy.”