Childhood 2016: a new report

At Guardians of Ancora, we’re always interested in news and trends about children’s media use, so we’ve been fascinated by a recent report from CHILDWISE, an independent market research company. Here are some of their headlines.

This year has seen a major shift in UK children’s media use with time spent online overtaking TV viewing for the first time ever, according to the latest 2016 CHILDWISE Monitor Report, a comprehensive annual report looking at 5 to 16-year-olds’ media consumption, purchasing and social habits as well as key behaviour.

Tablet ownership also soared this year – up by 50% from last year. Just six years after the UK release of the iPad, tablets have swept into children’s lives, with two in three (67%) now having their own device.

The new data shows that YouTube has taken centre stage in children’s lives this year to become the place they turn to for entertainment, music, games, TV programmes, instruction and advice. Half use the site every day; almost all do so on occasion.

The majority of children who use YouTube visit the site to access music videos (58%). Around half of users keep themselves entertained with funny content on YouTube (52%). Around a third watch gaming content, vlogs/blogs, TV programmes or ‘how to’ videos.

Children are also going online more in their bedrooms. Three in four children (73%) can now access the Internet in their room, up from two in three (63%) last year.

This year, for the first time, tablet devices have overtaken laptops/PCs/netbooks as the main type of computer that children have in their homes. Four in five children (79 per cent) now live in a house with a tablet device in it. This is a significant rise from just three in five (61 per cent) last year.

Children aged 5–16 now use the Internet for an average of three hours a day and watch TV for 2.1 hours. It is worth noting that simply counting hours spent on devices can be problematic. Children multi-task and often use more than one device at once and don’t always give each full attention.

CHILDWISE is an independent market research agency specialising in children and young people. CHILDWISE has a programme of published independent research and also conducts research for government agencies, charities, broadcasters, publishers and brands: www.childwise.co.uk.   

The Monitor Report 2016 covers: computers and the Internet; websites and applications; gaming; YouTube; mobile phones; TV viewing; music; reading; cinema; children’s equipment; money; purchasing; sports and activities; health and well-being; and social awareness.  

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