It will come as no surprise that kids are consuming content via a multitude of devices these days. But a new report from Port Washington, New York-based industry researcher The NPD Group reveals some interesting insights into the usage patterns of kids ages two to 14 in the digital realm.
One of the more notable observations to come out of Kids and Digital Content, says NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier, is that despite the greater multi-functionality that devices – including computers, video game consoles, MP3 players and cell phones – provide, kids are by and large using the tech for its primary purpose. A full 86% of kids surveyed said they used iPod-like MP3 players to listen to music, while only 17% said they used the devices to watch movies, for example. ‘What this means,’ she explains, ‘is that the idea of device convergence has a ways to go to before it really becomes a factor in kids lives.’ In other words, kids won’t be casting aside their computers in favor of internet-enabled, all-encompassing gaming systems anytime soon.
The study also revealed kids download video clips the most frequently (7.1 times/month), followed by music videos (5.7 times/month), music (4.2 times/month), games (3.1 times/month) and ringtones (2.8 times/month). But the most popular activity by far remains playing video games, with a full 84% of the study’s respondents gaming on all or one of the digital devices.
Interestingly, when it comes to acquiring digital video content, just over half the kids surveyed rely on broadcaster websites providing free content. iTunes came in second, while just 5% of respondents used peer-to-peer file sharing.
As for spending habits, the group involved in the study spent between US$6 and US$12 per month on digital content (including games and videos), shelling out considerably more on physical media such as DVDs and game cartridges (between US$13 and US$18 per month). Frazier says the reliance on physical product is likely due to limited digital distribution for those forms of media. Of the kids who do buy movies, only 27% pick up digital copies, while a full 96% purchase old-school DVDs. That said, it doesn’t look good for DVDs sporting kids TV shows, as 68% of the survey participants get TV content digitally, while only 56% shell out for the actual disks.