Three quarters of Kiwi kids see streaming as a career, but parents aren't so keen - survey

A picture of someone streaming content
With the top earners making millions, it's not hard to understand the attraction. Photo credit: Getty Images

A new survey has found three quarters of New Zealand children see a potential to make a career in streaming, while also revealing news and politics barely engages them online.

The survey of 415 New Zealanders aged 10-18 and their parents was conducted for Logitech by independent research company Pureprofile, with a maximum margin of error of five percent.

It found 62 percent of those surveyed watched gamers and streamers online, while 54 percent viewed music videos. However news was only watched by 15 percent, with politics attracting the attention of a paltry five percent.

Given the numbers watching it's no surprise to see online streaming - which has exploded in popularity in recent years through the likes of YouTube, TikTok and Twitch - is seen by 75 percent as a viable career option.

However, their parents aren't necessarily on the same page.

Logitech New Zealand's general manager Fabien Degueldre said that while parents might not see eye to eye with their kids, figures show the gap is not as wide as some may think.

"The fact that just over half of parents understood that you can make a career out of this is fantastic, I can only imagine how low that number would have been 15, 10 or even five years ago," Degueldre said. 

All up, 32 percent of parents said they didn't know enough about streaming to comment, which Degueldre said shows there's still a gulf in understanding around what streaming can offer as a career.

This is despite many of today's parents coming from generations that are considered 'digital native'.

"The MySpace generation are the parents now, but they can be just as out of touch when it comes to what Gen Z are up to as their parents were with them," Degueldre said.

"Basement-dwelling caricatures are still in the zeitgeist and parents are bombarded with messages about reducing screen time - despite so much of our own lives taking place online. Keeping kids away from technology is unrealistic."

One successful Kiwi streamer who is backing the younger generation is 'Granny', who has built a community of over 80,000 Twitch followers as well as a steady income from their online activities.

"Career counsellors in schools will often tell students who are struggling to make decisions, that there is a chance your dream job just doesn't exist yet. We know now that streaming and content creation can be a wonderful option," Granny said.

"There's still a chance for anyone who is on the fence about becoming a content creator. Just remember, your type of content might not exist yet, not until you create it."

But it's not quite as easy as it sounds. According to website, less than three percent of streamers who already make money on Twitch earn enough to make a living.

With a total of over 9.6 million active streamers, that means for the total number of streamers on the platform, less than 0.6 percent actually make enough to live on.

However, even that small dream might still be a little too expensive for some kids, with parents not necessarily wanting to foot the bill for the technology required to stream. Nearly half said their children would have to work to pay for the gear, with 12 percent willing to spend less than $100 on their streaming desires.

Given 87 percent of 10-18 year olds rely on grown-ups to buy their electronics, it means that some will likely miss out.

That's obviously something the hardware industry wants to see change.

"You can get them going for less than half the price of rugby camp and we don't expect every budding player to make the All Blacks," Degueldre said.