Usage of tablet devices among US children increased by 10% over the past year, highlighting the growing trend for non-linear TV consumption.
Figures released by market research company NPD Group showed video game devices remain the most popular among children aged 4-14, but tablet usage has increased 13% this year, compared with a 3% rise in 2011.
The report, Kids & Consumer Electronics: 2012 Edition, noted that older children migrate to video game consoles and laptop devices, meaning tablet usage was highest among younger children.
Children’s TV companies, especially in the preschool space, have been wrestling with the best way to reach their audiences, which are quickly fragmenting.
Lisa Streff, senior VP of US distributor SMC Entertainment, told C21 recently: “Where digital is changing things is in allowing kids, teens and tweens to find characters in so many other ways and on so many other platforms apart from TV.”
Russ Crupnick, senior VP of industry analysis for NPD, said of the new research: “Kids are using tablets to game; watch movies and TV shows; read books; and listen to music – and even occasionally for taking pictures. So they have embraced the utility of these devices quite rapidly.”
Television remained among the most popular devices in US homes, said the NPD study, but uptake of console and portable game systems, tablets and digital video cameras was higher than TV.
NPD fielded an online survey of men and women aged 22 or over in households with children aged 4-14, and the study received 3,235 completed responses.