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Watching the TV Remains Kids Most Popular Past Time

Kids Tech Consumer Market Research, Analysis and Commentary

24 Apr 2018 - Statistics show that watching the big screen remains the activity that children dedicate the most time to, this is according to the latest Kids Tech Consumer Survey report from Futuresource Consulting. This was equivalent to an average of 4.8 hours a week across kids aged 3-16 years in all countries surveyed, which included: the UK, France, Germany, US, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil. This compares to 3.9 hours participating in active play and 3.5 hours watching TV and or video content on a mobile device. However, China bucked the trend with active play being the most undertaken activity among children. US children spent the most amount of time in front of the TV, at close to an average of 1 hour per day.

The TV is on, but are they Watching?

Despite being the number one activity, TV viewing isn't necessarily commanding the most attention, with 63% of children across the territories surveyed using another electronic device while watching. This figure notably rises with age, with over three quarters of 13-16-year olds multi-tasking. Half of these kids cite that they are playing mobile/tablet games and close to a third are watching other video content. Among the older age groups, social media and online chat is undertaken most frequently by 55%.

Social Networking a Staple

Although most social network sites are aimed at the older age groups, 54% of under 13-year olds still access it. However, there is still no comparison to the 92% of 13-16-year olds. 70% of these Gen Z'ers access Facebook despite industry concerns that it's losing share amongst younger generations. Other Facebook owned services such as WhatsApp and Instagram are seeing uptake of 49% and 45% of this age group respectively.

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Across the 9 territories surveyed, 32% indicated that they were active watchers of others playing video games. The proportion of kids peaks in the US at 45%, dipping to 17% for France and Germany. Whilst most of the viewing skews towards boys, 25% of girls also watch this content. YouTube Gaming is used by 64% of viewers, with 30% using the headline grabber, Twitch. Viewers of this content are showing a high level of engagement, with two thirds watching at least 3 times a week.

Carl Hibbert, Associate Director of Consumer Media & Technology at Futuresource Consulting said, "Our latest round of research confirmed that the TV-set is still the go-to platform for the majority of kids, but second screen viewing continues to rise, particularly in the UK and US where around half of kids are regular consumers of TV and video content on portable screens. In Germany and China, this trend is much more conservative, falling to just a third of kids. It may not be surprising to hear that YouTube consumes much of kids' digital attention, with over a third of kids in the US consuming over 5 hours of YouTube content per week. Perhaps of more significance is that consumption time across the week remains relatively stable across age ranges, as social media eats into the free-time of the older ranges."


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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