Nickelodeon Kids & Family GPS: Kids and Technology
What is the role of technology in the lives on children around the world? What devices do they have access to, how do they use them, and what is their relationship to TV content across a variety of screens?
Nickelodeon answered these questions in a report that combined numerous international qualitative and quantitative studies to deep-dive into the world of kids and technology. Here are key findings:
Kids around the globe are more similar than ever before – but their technological maturity varies by country.
• Technological maturity differs even among countries with similar economic situations, educational levels, and social values
• As an example, the UK and Germany have differences in spite of higher technology penetration
o Parents in the UK are more supportive of technology than German parents
o The UK educational system encourages technology use, while German kids are directed more toward outdoor play and activity
As parent-child relationships become increasingly close, technology is connecting them in ever more meaningful ways.
• Globally, 8 in 10 kids who use social media include their parent(s) in their networks – and most feel it has a positive influence on their relationship
• Parents and kids are using devices together (i.e. to play games)
Though its ability to connect people is important, entertainment and education are the primary benefits of technology for kids.
• 71% of 9-11s believe the internet is mostly about fun, while 76% believe it’s about learning
• Among kids 12-14, 73% think it’s mostly about fun and 74% say it’s about learning – a slight difference that suggests that fun increases and learning decreases a little as kids get older
Digital device ownership is high among kids.
• 46% of kids 9-11 own a mobile phone ( 18% have a smartphone)
• 37% of 9-11s and 50% of 12-14s have their own computer/laptop
• 12% of 9-11s and 15% of 12-14s have their own tablet
• Recent U.S. research showed that 24% of kids 3 to 5 regularly use an iPad
In addition to gaming, kids are using digital devices to listen to music, read, view/take pictures, play with apps, and engage with educational content.
• No matter how busy kids are, they find ways to incorporate internet activity into every waking moment
• 70% of 9-14s around the world use technology/social media to stay up to date and connected wherever they are
• 63% of global 9-14s say being connected to the internet is as much a part of everyday life as eating and sleeping
• 63% check for messages at least once a day – and 23% check at least once an hour
TV ownership is fairly high among kids – and their interest in TV content remains strong.
• 42% of kids 9-14 around the globe have their own TV set – ownership is highest in Portugal, Mexico, Argentina, U.S., and Poland; lowest in Morocco, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore
• On average, kids own their first TV set around age 6
• 3 in 10 kids have a TV in their bedroom – slightly higher among boys (33%) than girls (28%)
• There has been a slight drop in ownership since 2007 – however TV content is as popular as ever, and more and more accessible
• 78% of kids globally say they love TV and couldn’t live without it
Kids are increasingly looking for ways to watch their favorite content online, using a variety of devices.
• 38% of 9-14s globally watch TV on a variety of devices
• Watching video continues to be one of the most loved i-device activities – second only to gaming
• Boys and girls alike enjoy watching video content
• In the U.S., YouTube remains the stand-out site for finding videos, followed by Netflix and TV channels’ websites (boys prefer YouTube; girls prefer TV episodes/clips online)
TV content defines kids’ early relationship with the internet. A little later in childhood, multi-screen activity can further enhance their enjoyment of TV programming.
• TV networks’ websites tend to be the very first places young kids visit online
• At a slightly older age (9-14), multi-screen activity becomes a part of their TV viewing experience:
o 52% look up things featured in a show
o 39% check the social media pages of favorite shows
o 35% share links related to a show while watching
• As kids’ ownership of handheld devices increases, this type of activity is set to take hold in a bigger way going forward – generating greater opportunity for the internet to drive engagement with TV