Daily Candy: Kids Spend 7+ Hours Devouring Media

girl watching tv/istock photo

Kids are spending over an hour a day more with all media versus five years ago -- more so when you consider multitasking. According to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, total media consumption of young consumers 8-18 -- from mobile, TV, games, Internet, etc -- comes to a big seven hours and 38 minutes a day, up from six hours and 21 minutes in 2004.

Factoring in multitasking of media platforms, the numbers are higher -- actually 10 hours and 45 minutes in 2009, versus 8 hours and 33 minutes five years ago. That means kids have added over two hours.

Fueling this process are big increases in mobile device ownership. The study says since 2004, ownership among 8- to-18-year-olds has jumped to 66% from 39%, and to 76% from 18% for iPods and other MP3 players.



Confirming other studies, Kaiser says young people are spending more time listening to music, playing games and watching TV on cell phones -- 49 minutes daily -- than talking on phones -- 33 minutes.

Traditional TV viewing has been hit hard, according to the study.

Kaiser says that for the first time over the course of its ongoing study, the amount of time spent watching regularly scheduled TV -- live and time shifted -- declined by 25 minutes a day over those five years.

But when looking at all viewing through new digital devices -- computers, phones, iPods -- there has been an actual increase in video consumption to four hours and 29 minutes from 3 hours and 51 minutes in 2004.

Live TV viewing comprises 59%, or 2 hours and 39 minutes a day, of young viewers' video time with 41%, 1 hour and 50 minutes, coming from time-shifted programming, DVDs, online, or mobile.

Other trends: About two-thirds -- 64% -- of young people say the TV is usually on during meals, and just under half -- 45% -- say the TV is left on most of the time in their home, even if no one is watching.

Kaiser also says only three in 10 young people say they have rules about how much time they can spend watching TV, playing video games and using the computer.

1 comment about "Daily Candy: Kids Spend 7+ Hours Devouring Media ".
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  1. Jeff Bach from Quietwater Media, February 1, 2010 at 7:23 p.m.

    Somebody has to put up at least a mild protest. I guess that will be me. These numbers are hooey.

    I have a 4th grader, a 7th grader and an 8th grader. None of them are near these numbers. There are not enough hours in the day. School, (homework on occasion not all the time)basketball after school, piano lessons, soccer, etc. The 8th grader is getting kind of sick of texting. Her use has gone done, now that it is no longer a thrill.

    I am glad to see that they at least made note of the biggest cheat of all - counting "TV on as background noise" as explicit viewing.

    Everyone's mileage may vary of course. I am sure some do achieve these numbers.

    I think an article explaining a study like this should have more about the reams of assumptions and HEAVY duty extrapolations that they had to make in conducting this survey.

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