Kids are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, playing video games and using and downloading content to cell phones, computers and portable digital music players (PDMP) as young as age 2, according to The NPD Group’s new study, Kids & Digital Content, which provides insight into kids’ ages 2 through 14 usage and interaction with consumer electronic (CE) devices and the dynamics behind acquiring digital content for these devices.
While downloading games is the most prevalent activity, watching downloaded movies, television, music videos or online streaming video content has already reached upwards of 25-percent penetration with children ages 2 through 14.
According to the report, kids are spending an average of 44 minutes in one sitting playing games on a video game system, and the same amount of time listening to music on a PDMP.
Cell phones highlight the quick progression in usage of consumer electronics, with only 15-percent of 2-5 year olds using cell phones, but 62 percent using them by ages 11-14.
“Without a doubt, kids are digital content natives, seamlessly navigating between traditional and digital sources of media without missing a step,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “To kids, there is nothing new or novel about digital sources of entertainment. The real challenge for marketers is to be one step ahead of their competition, providing the content and technology kids crave.”
When it comes to downloading digital content, by the time kids are 7 years old, more than one in 10 are downloading content in some form, with 22 percent downloading at age 10 and 50 percent downloading at age 14. Three-quarters of kids with an Internet connection are using the Internet. Among those users, almost half are online and surfing the Internet without any assistance, while another one-third are surfing the Internet with their parents or someone else.
According to the report, the availability of free content does not seem to impede kids’ purchasing behavior, as evidenced by the fact that most kids are paying for each type of content. For example, 70 percent of PDMP users are paying for content; as are 55 percent of computer users, 67 percent of cell phone users and 87 percent of video game system users.