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The global parental control software market size was valued at USD 1.11 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 1.25 billion in 2023 to USD 2.87 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.7% during the forecast period.
The parental control software considered in the scope of this study includes Microsoft Family Safety, Google Family Link, Kaspersky Safe Kids for PC, Norton Family, Avast Family Shield, AT&T Secure Family App, and more.
Parental control software is a tool that enables parents to monitor their kid’s internet usage, record their online activities, block & filter websites & content, limit the time spent on internet, and view their browsing history and communications. Most schools have included computers, laptops, and tablets into their curriculums, which has increased the need to install monitoring tools to filter content and restrict websites. Similarly, parents are becoming more anxious about their children's safety and well-being with the growing avenues of multimedia entertainment and constantly changing technologies. Key players in the market are offering new and innovative solutions to provide more activity monitoring tools. For instance, in March 2021, Google Inc. announced the launch of separate Google+ TV accounts for kids to help parents choose appropriate content for their children. With this on-screen parental control, parents can manage their kids’ screen time.
Sudden Shift to Smart Devices Amid Pandemic Crisis Fueled Market Growth Significantly
The temporary closure of schools and other educational institutes amid the COVID-19 pandemic affected children's learning activities across the globe. According to estimates published by UNESCO, about 1.3 billion students across the world were unable to attend school or university from March 2020. Similarly, as per the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of schools of over 1.6 billion children and youth across 161 countries. The pandemic also compelled educational institutes to initiate online classes.
Many children were provided with personal devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more to attend online classes to keep up with unexpected changes in the education system. This direct access to smart devices and over-exposure to the internet and digital platforms might negatively impact children’s lives. Thus, it has become essential for parents to ensure that the content their kids are accessing through these platforms is safe. Exposure to uncensored internet content dramatically increased concerns of cyber safety. As per the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, online enticement reports increased by 97.5% in 2020. Thus, the adoption of online education fueled the parental control software market share amid the pandemic.
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Surge in Use of Social Media by Kids to Expand Market Opportunities
Social media platforms and applications have witnessed tremendous growth over the past few years and are expected to be the largest source of data, engagement, and communication. According to a report published by We Are Social Inc. in collaboration with Hootsuite in 2020, 3.8 billion people used social media platforms in January alone. In October 2021, as per the survey report by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, 32% of children in the U.S. aged between 7 and 9 years are using social media apps. This may create concerns for the parents as inexperience and lack of awareness of social media applications might impact a child’s mental health.
According to a 2019 Common Sense Media survey, smartphone use grew among all age groups in the last four years, especially among the youngest generation. As a result of increase in parental scrutiny and regulation, social media sites have implemented parental control locking tools that help parents gauge the amount of time children spend on social media and the internet. This is expected to boost the parental control software market growth. Various social media platforms and entertainment applications have implemented age restrictions and in-built parental control apps to observe children’s screen time. Nonetheless, age restrictions can be difficult to impose and easily circumvented. Although in-app parental controls are evolving, they still have a long way to go to protect children.
Rise in Government Regulations to Standardize Digital Content for Children's Safety to Drive Market Growth
Online content offers a variety of educational, social, and entertainment benefits to kids. However, there are perceived dangers, especially with internet content and the behavior and interaction risks associated with internet-facilitated peer-to-peer communication. The use of parental control tools enables parents to limit children’s exposure to unwanted social media posts and helps in protecting children from unethical practices such as cyberbullying. Governments across countries focus on ensuring child safety regulations for digital media applications. For instance,
Such regulations and guidelines, coupled with parental guidance are expected to drive the global market growth.
High Initial Cost of Software and Data Privacy Concerns to Hamper Market Growth
Parental control software provides cutting-edge functionality and advanced applications at a high cost. For some parents, installing such software can be quite expensive. Many websites provide innovative parental control functionalities at a high cost. Thus, the high initial price is a crucial limitation that can impede the adoption of parental control tools.
The software can be attacked by malware and is subjected to data breaches. This software can also contain an infection or pose other threats to phones or computer devices, resulting in significant data loss. It may also harm other electronic devices in its vicinity. Thus, these issues associated with parental control software might impede the market growth.
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Increasing Usage of Desktop for Gaming Aids the Growth of Windows Software
On the basis of operating system, the market is categorized into Windows, Android, iOS, and cross-platform/multiplatform.
The Windows segment is likely to gain the maximum market share during the forecast period. The kids are spending more time on gaming, video calling, accessing OTT platforms, and YouTube through laptops. Thus, the demand for Windows operating systems is expected to rise as they have robust and reliable parental control tools.
The Android segment is likely to witness rapid growth during the forecast period as children are increasing the time spent on smartphones. As per the Common Sense Media report in 2019, teens spent an average of seven hours on a smartphone just for entertainment activities. In addition, parents belonging to the low-income group can now afford smartphones for their kids’ education, which is expected to drive the demand for Android-based parental control software. The iOS segment is also set to display steady growth owing to its increasing popularity among teenagers. Similarly, various players are offering cross-platform/multiplatform software to easily monitor entertainment platforms on all the home devices, thus driving the demand for cross-platform/multiplatform software.
Ease of Access and Scalability to Surge Cloud-based Software Demand
Based on deployment, the market is bifurcated into on-premise and cloud.
The cloud segment is expected to hold a dominant market share during the forecast period. Cloud-based software is more in demand as the tools are hosted remotely on the vendor’s server and extremely stable with less downtime. The software is offered on a subscription basis. Users need to pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee to use parental control software and receive automatic updates and support services.
On-premise parental control tools are installed directly onto user hardware, which is either a computer, server, or private network. On-premise tools are bought by paying one-time perpetual license fees, and the cost depends on the number of coexisting users. However, the user has to pay extra for training, support, and updates.
Rising Online Security Concerns to Increase Adoption of Software among Residential Users
By application, the market is divided into residential and educational institutes.
The residential segment is expected to dominate the market. In the past years, issues, such as increasing screen time, rise in use of social media, fear of children getting exposed to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and child-abuse have led parents to install this software on their child’s devices. The COVID-19 pandemic further raised security concerns due to the sudden introduction of online learning platforms during the lockdown period.
Educational institutes are also steadily adopting the software owing to the increasing number of government initiatives to promote digital education. Governments are focused on installing this software to safeguard students' online interactions. This software allows educational institutes to monitor the students' online activities and block access to any inappropriate websites, content, and applications.
The global market is classified across five regions, North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific.
North America leads the global market share due to the region’s early adoption of digitalization in the education sector. Stringent government regulations regarding children's online safety are surging the adoption of this software in North America. For instance, laws, such as the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the U.S. are employed to safeguard children's information. An increase in the rate of web crimes, such as child abuse, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment is a major concern amongst parents, which has increased awareness and the importance of installing this software on a child’s device.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness rapid growth during the forecast period. The region is being looked at as a lucrative market by key players for establishing their business network. With the growing adoption of e-learning and distance learning courses, educational institutes across countries, such as India, South Korea, China, and more are focusing on strengthening the digital well-being of students.
In Europe, strict GDPR and laws associated with children’s privacy are crucial factors driving the adoption of parental control software across the region. Additionally, adequate presence of reputed software providers and the proliferation of new entrants are likely to push the market’s growth steadily in the future.
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The Middle East & Africa is showcasing significant growth due to the increasing adoption of digitalization. Growing investments in the education sector are likely to fuel the demand for parental control software in the coming years. Similarly, growing smartphone demand in South America is expected to fuel the market growth in the region.
Focus on Global Expansion through Strategic Partnerships & Collaborations to Boost Market Share
The major players in the market are expanding their business by collaborating and partnering with network providers, smartphone & gadget manufacturers, telecom service providers, and Wi-Fi router enablers, among others. The companies aim to offer advanced parental control solutions to create a safer and healthier online learning environment for kids. Besides, they are highly focused on developing new features and products to strengthen their market position. These companies heavily invest in research & development activities to launch new products and boost their business growth.
February 2022 – Qustodio announced a partnership with France-based Bouygues Telecom to offer children digital and online safety with its next-generation control tools for parents. The companies are entering the France market with its cross-platform services for iOS phones, Android, Windows, Chromebook, Mac, and Kindle through the partnership.
March 2021 – YouTube launched parental control solution Supervised accounts to support parents in monitoring and blocking access to restricted links and content on YouTube. It allows supervision of the kids’ downloads, activity, and usage habits.
An Infographic Representation of Parental Control Software Market
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The report conducts an in-depth study of the market and highlights key regions across the world to offer a better understanding of the market. Furthermore, the report provides insights into the latest industry trends and studies various technologies deployed at a rapid pace at the global level. It further highlights the growth factors and restraints, helping the reader gain in-depth knowledge about the market.
CAGR of 12.7% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD billion)
By Operating System, Deployment, Application, and Region
By Operating System
The market is projected to reach USD 2.87 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the market size stood at USD 1.11 billion.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% during the forecast period of 2023-2030.
The Windows segment is likely to lead the market growth.
Rise in government regulations to standardize digital content for childrens safety is expected to drive the markets growth.
Alphabet Inc. (Google LLC), AO Kaspersky Lab, AT&T Inc., Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, LLC, Microsoft Corporation, and others are the top players in the market.
North America is expected to hold the largest market share.
Asia Pacific is expected to record a remarkable CAGR.
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