Kids’ Mobile Media Use Exploding


WASHINGTON — TV Everywhere efforts that include Nickelodeon, Disney Channel or other kids-targeted programmers could reap big rewards among the toddlers with tablets set.

Young children’s access to mobile media devices has exploded in the past two years, although television is still the medium of choice, and educational television is the most-watched genre.

That is according to “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013,” the second biennial study from Common Sense Media on media use by children 8 and younger, being released today (Oct. 28).

The study found a five-fold increase in tablet ownership by families with young children, from 8% of respondents to 40%, since Common Sense conducted the first biennial survey in 2011. The share of kids under 8 with access to a smartphone increased to 75% from 52% in the same period.

Traditional TV watching is down by 12 minutes per day, but TV still “reigns supreme in children’s media lives,” the study said.

More than half of the kids surveyed (58%) watch TV at least once a day, compared with 17% who use mobile devices every day and 14% who use a computer.

Overall, kids 8 and under average one hour and 55 minutes of screen time per day, of which 57% is spent watching TV, 19% watching DVDs, 13% using mobile devices and 9% playing video games. Of the time spent watching TV programming, about a third of the viewing is time-shifted; 68% of viewing occurrs at a show’s regularly-scheduled time.

The report is based on a survey of 1,463 parents of children age 8 and younger. It was conducted by GfK from May 20 to-June 12; the margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.