How Kids Use Tech: TV Still Most Popular Video Platform

More than half of kids aged 3–16 — including a quarter of those aged 3 and 4 — access the Internet at least daily, according to the latest Kids Tech report from FutureSource Consulting.

Three-quarters of kids aged 3–16 are online at least three or four times a week, according to the report. Many kids, however, are still not accessing the internet on a regular basis at all, including 25 percent of those aged 3 to 4, 20 percent of those aged 5 to 6 and 10 percent of those aged 7 to 8.

The survey interviewed 1,400 participants each from the United States, Germany, China and the United Kingdom. Other key findings of the report include:

  • For all kids, watching free videos is the most popular online activity, but for teenagers social media and instant messaging or e-mailing rank higher;
  • 70 percent of parents with children aged 3–12 said they had parental controls in place to restrict internet access for their children, and the same portion said they use time limits;
  • Television is still king among video platforms, being cited as the most frequently watched in all four countries. Participants in the United States, at 58 percent, were the least likely to say that they watched video on television most frequently, while respondents in China favored television the most, citing it as the platform they consume video through most frequently at a clip of 75 percent;
  • More than a third of all kids interviewed said they consume video on a mobile device at least once a day;
  • American youth were the most likely to say they watch video daily through a mobile device at 38 percent;
  • 25 percent of American kids aged 3–16 years said they watch at least five hours of video via YouTube each week, with 22 percent saying the same thing about Facebook;
  • Short form content is most popular, with one-third of respondents saying that the typical length of videos watched in less than five minutes;
  • Funny videos and comedy were the most popular kind of video content in the United States, being cited by 57 percent of respondents; and
  • The most common way to find new videos and apps is through recommendations from friends.

"The Kids Tech study captures the pulse of how children are consuming digital content in multi-platform digital environments," said Carl Hibbert, associate director of media & entertainment at FutureSource, in a prepared statement. "This latest study highlights the increased competition for viewing time with 25 percent of 15-16 year olds in the US watching 5 or more hours per week of YouTube video."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].