Children watch half as much TV as adults, heading online instead

Even when young people are watching TV, they tend to do something else, too

Family show: Television insinuated itself into the life of the whole nation
Family show: Television insinuated itself into the life of the whole nation

Many young people are giving up on live TV and radio, instead choosing digital services where they can choose watch they watch, according to new research.

Ofcom studied young people’s media habits as part of its Digital Day report, comparing their relationship with media to adults’.

The average child watched 1 hour and 32 minutes of live TV, almost exactly half that of the average adult. Instead they are turning to internet video sites, like YouTube and Vimeo, as well as video hosted on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

That’s in sharp contrast to adults, who only spend five minutes a day watching online video.

Children also seem to be giving up on live radio, and instead spend 50% of their time listening with digital music. They tend to favour platforms that let them choose their own music, such as streaming services or downloaded tracks.

The 11-15 year olds were likely to be doing more than one activity at the same time, meaning that they were squeezing nine and a half hours’ worth of media activity into seven hours. While the younger group multitasked less, they still tended to spend much of their time with more than one media device.

A sample of 1,644 UK adults took part in the main study in March-April 2014. A children’s sample of 185 primary school children and 173 secondary school children took part, completing a three-day diary made up of two weekdays and one day on a weekend.

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