Kids nowadays may still be interested in sitting in front of a screen and watching TV, but unlike previous generations, they are not waking up and watching the Disney Channel. In fact, according to a Wall Street Journal report, ratings at Disney are dropping across the company’s channels including Disney Channel and Freeform.
WSJ reports that the first six months of 2017, the networks saw viewership drop by double digits among their target demographics.
“We see the migration,” Disney Channel president Gary Marsh told WSJ. “One of the challenges is trying to serve the viewership where they’re going as opposed to trying to drive them where we want them to go.”
WSJ reports 26% of Disney’s cable revenue and profits come from television, which includes Disney Channel and Freeform, but without hit TV shows the company could be experiencing a drop in merchandising profits originating from popular programs.
Unlike their parents’ generation, kids now have Amazon, Netflix and YouTube to watch programming and no longer have to sit through hours of re-runs because that is the only kid show on television.
Disney’s other issue is that the company has not been able to release a breakout hit since Miley Cyrus’s Hannah Montana, Selena Gomez’s Wizards of Waverly Place and the Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
Following several open casting calls, Disney is hoping the upcoming That’s So Raven spin-off, and a stand-alone mobile app will help increase viewers among their key demographics.
But, it is important to point out that Disney is not the only company hurt by the digital entertainment revolution. Primetime viewing has dropped by 34% in the past years for people ages 2 to 34 years old.