Children ditch live TV, radio

27 November 2014
LONDON: More and more 11 to 15 year olds are spending less time with live TV and live radio, preferring instead to view short video clips or stream music according to a new study.

The Digital Day report from UK industry regulator Ofcom was based on media diaries compiled by 1,644 adults, 173 children aged 11-15 and 186 children aged 6-11. This found that the secondary school age group watched half as much live TV as adults – a daily average of 1 hour and 32 minutes, compared to 2 hours and 58 minutes. This amounted to a mere 16% of their total media and communications time. 

Overall, 11-15 year olds managed to squeeze nine and a half hours' worth of media and communications activity into just over seven hours each day as they did more than one activity at the same time.

Considering all of the time spent on 'watching' activities across a week among 11-15 year olds, just over half (52%) was with live television, compared to 69% for all adults. And more than one fifth (22%) said some weeks they did not watch any live TV.

However, this age group spent a significantly greater proportion of its viewing time watching short online video clips compared to adults (19% vs. 2%).

Among listening activities, live radio was by far the most popular with adults as 77% had done so during the week but the proportion fell to 42% among children. And when taken as a share of all listening activity, live radio accounted for just 21% of children's listening time, with digital music – streamed or stored – taking up 54% of the "share of ear". Old-fashioned physical formats added another 8% while background music videos made up 15% of listening time.

Communications activities occupied 11-15 year olds for almost two and a half hours a day, the report said, with 52 minutes devoted to social networking sites and a further 38 minutes to text messaging.

Data sourced from Ofcom; additional content by Warc staff
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