The internet is fast becoming the preferred channel of children in India who are now more likely to be viewing a smartphone screen than a TV screen, research suggests.

When TotallyAwesome, the children’s digital engagement platform, conducted its annual Kids’ Digital Insights Study across 14 markets, including eight in Asia Pacific, it found that children in the region were spending an average of two hours online per weekday, and 2.5 hours per day on weekends.

And in India the smartphone was kids’ favourite device by far, ahead of the television set and the tablet. (For more, read WARC’s report: Kids: a huge opportunity for India’s marketers.)

This is a recent and rapid change. In the 2017 study, less than 50% of Indian children questioned preferred the internet over the TV, but this had risen to 69% this year and TotallyAwesome anticipates the figure will hit 100% in 2019.

“We expect the tablet to score over television next year, so it’s going to be more and more digital,” Marcus Hermann, Chief Operating Officer at TotallyAwesome told the recent Pixels Mumbai conference.

“Also kids are multi-screening, just like adults,” he added. “They have several devices like the smartphone or the tablet in their hands while watching television or when they use the desktop.”

Their embrace of all things digital means advertisers are having to rethink how they reach this valuable group which not only commands its own spending power but has a huge influence on household purchases.

Hermann highlighted the role of YouTube, which in the past year has become the number one channel for kids (including television channels), and ‘YouTubers’.

“‘Kidfluencers’ play a big role in purchase decisions,” he reported. “According to our research, 65% of kids agree that they have bought or asked their parents to buy something because an influencer has advertised it, and 64% parents say they bought something for their kids because of an influencer.”

Sourced from WARC