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Riding Along on the Digital Wave - Kids Tech Consumer Study

Kids' Technology Consumer Research Analysis and Commentary

25 April 2016 - Futuresource Consulting has now released the results from its latest wave of 'Kids Tech' consumer research programme. Now in its third year, it accesses the digital leisure habits of kids between 3 and 16 years old, in the USA, China, Germany and UK. It highlights patterns and provides insight into technology usage and entertainment content consumption together with comparisons with more traditional toys and recreational activities.

"The Kids Tech study captures the pulse of how children are consuming digital content in multi-platform digital environments," commented Carl Hibbert, Associate Director, Media & Entertainment. "This latest study highlights the increased competition for viewing time with 25% of 15-16 year olds in the US watching 5 or more hours per week of YouTube video."

Futuresource Consulting found that over a third of kids in the 3 to 16 bracket are using mobile or portable devices to watch content daily. The report goes onto look into different types of content, broadcast and communication platforms.

Beyond YouTube, Facebook is increasing its audience share for video with 22% of 13-16 year olds in the US consuming 5 or more hours per week. The increased consumption through YouTube and Facebook is heavily influencing typical content length with a third of respondents indicating content length is now typically 5 minutes or less.

Watching free video is the most popular online activity for the combined ages, though specifically for teens, social media and instant messaging/emailing rank higher.

Funny or comedic videos are the most popular type of video that 3-16s watch online, however there are marked differences by country. In China cartoons lead, Germany, music videos whilst both the USA and the UK prefer funny or comedy content. The main way kids discover new content to watch is via recommendations from friends, the same goes for new apps too – along with app store searches.

The study also looked at internet access and over half of 3-16s access the internet daily, with even 25% of 3-4s doing so. 75% are online at least 3-4 times a week. However, there are still around 25% of 3-4s, 20% of 5-6s and 10% of 7-8s not accessing the internet at all. Around 70% of parents with children aged 3-12 had ensured that parental controls were in place to restrict internet access for their child and the same % impose time limits on internet use.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

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