The Connected Generation – Kids Spending 7 1/2 Hours a Day 7 Days a week with Media

Over the past 5 years the amount of time per day that our kids are spending with media has gone up over an hour  to 7 1/2 hours a day. The kids today are starting younger and younger to not only be viewing media but to be communicating, sharing information and engaging with others virtually through a host of devices ranging from internative TV’s and game devices to mobile phones.   Recent Nielsen research reports the following:

“Childhood connections
To adults, cell phones are a communications device. To children, they are a lifeline. Consider that the average 13-17 year old sends more than 2,000 text messages per month. Compared with the total mobile Internet population, teens are much bigger consumers of social media, music, games, videos/movies and technology/science. Mobile devices represent a major impetus behind the social media movement, driving part of the 250% audience increase for the year .  Teens represented 19% of the 12.3 million active social networkers. ”

Phone usage/ownership is getting younger each year as well with a growing number of 8 year olds having their own phone.  Mobile phones are becoming more and more mobile computers, game and entertainment devices as well as  movie and music players. 

As a parent these numbers are a bit alarming and I think  we need to stay tuned-in to how are kids are interacting with the new media.

This next generation is going to be even more digitally savvy and the companies that innovate and adjust their business plans and offerings to meet this next generation will be the clear leaders.  There is a major shift underway in both the devices and the content delivery players. Traditional media such as  TV, newspapers and radio are giving way to computers, mobile and  game devices. Entirely new catagories of devices are coming into the scene like the Apple IPads. We are also seeing a shift in who will be creating and delivering content away from the traditional media companies to company’s like Apple, Google and Amazon. 

Check out the research findings below and tell us what you think the impact of this kind of media exposure will have on this generation:

Kids Pack 10 3/4 Hours Of Media Content Into 7 1/2 Hours Every Day
According to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, eight-to-eighteen year-olds spend an average of more than 71/2 hours a day, seven days a week with media. The aim (of this study), says Kaiser, is to provide a more solid base from which to examine media’s effects on children, and to help guide those who are proactively using media to inform and educate America’s youth.
Five years ago, Kaiser reported that young people spent an average of nearly 61/2 hours a day with media, and managed to pack more than 81/2 hours worth of media content into that time by multitasking. At that point it seemed that young people’s lives were filled to the bursting point with media.
As of today, says the report, those levels of use have been shattered. Over the past five years, young people have increased the amount of time they spend consuming media by an hour and seventeen minutes daily, from 6:21 to 7:38, almost the amount of time most adults spend at work each day, except that young people use media seven days a week instead of five.
And, given the amount of time they spend using more than one medium at a time, today’s youth pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those daily 71/2 hours, an increase of almost 21/4 hours of media exposure per day over the past five years.


Change in Media Use, 2004-2009- 8-18 year olds

Today, 20% of media consumption (2:07) occurs on mobile devices, cell phones, iPods or handheld video game players. Almost another hour consists of “old” content, TV or music, delivered through “new” pathways on a computer.
The development of mobile media has allowed young people to find even more opportunities throughout the day for using media, actually expanding the number of hours when they can consume media, often while on the go. Over the past five years, the proportion of 8- to 18-yearolds who own their own cell phone has grown from about four in ten, to about two-thirds. The proportion with iPods or other MP3 players increased even more dramatically, jumping from 18% to 76% among all 8- to 18-year-olds.

Mobile Media Ownership - ages 8-18

Eight- to eighteen-year-olds today spend an average of a half-hour a day talking on their cell phones, and an average of 49 minutes a day listening to, playing or watching other media on their phones, while 7th- to 12th-graders spend 1 ½ hours a day text messaging (time spent texting is not included in the count of media use, nor is time spent talking on a cell phone in the study).
For the first time since this research began in 1999, the amount of time young people spend watching regularly scheduled programming on a television set, at the time it is originally broadcast, has declined by :25 a day but the proliferation of new ways to consume TV content has actually led to an increase of 38 minutes of daily TV consumption.
The increase includes:
24 minutes a day watching TV or movies on the Internet
15 minutes each watching on cell phones and iPods
59% of young people’s TV watching occurs on a TV set at the time the programming is originally broadcast
41% is either time-shifted, or occurs on a platform other than a TV set
In the last five years, home Internet access has expanded  to 84% among young people; the proportion with a laptop has grown from 29%; and Internet access in the bedroom has jumped to 33%. The quality of Internet access has improved as well, with high-speed access increasing from 31% to 59%.

Home Internet Access - 8-18 year olds

Media, Grades and Personal COntentment - 8-18 year olds

Children who live in homes that impose some type of media-related rules, spend substantially less time with media than do children with more media-lenient parents.

Media Exposure by TV Environment and Rules - 8-18 year olds

When young people hit the 11- to 14-year-old age group there is an increase of more than three hours a day in time spent with media and an increase of four hours a day in total media exposure. Just as children begin to make the transition into adolescence, their media use explodes, notes the report.
Eleven- to fourteen-year-olds average just under nine hours of media use a day, and, with multitasking. have nearly 12 hours of media exposure
The biggest increases are in TV and video game use, with11- to 14-year-olds consuming an average of five hours a day of TV and movie content, and spend nearly an hour and a half a day (1:25) playing video games.
The report concludes that understanding the role of media in young people’s lives is essential for those concerned about promoting the healthy development of children and adolescents, including parents, pediatricians, policymakers, children’s advocates, educators, and public health groups. The purpose of this study, say the authors, is to foster that understanding by providing data about young people’s media use.
Please access the full report, in PDF format, for more details here.

 Post by Warren Raisch, Online Market Research, Social Marketing, Market Research Report: January29 ,2010


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