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Examining The Media Habits of 8-18 Year Olds

Between October 2008 and May 2009, the Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed a sampling of 8-18 year olds in the US about their media habits in a typical...

Between October 2008 and May 2009, the Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed a sampling of 8-18 year olds in the US about their media habits in a typical day. Approximately 2000 students answered a written questionnaire and another 700 kept detailed diaries of their usage, resulting in a comprehensive study that examines current consumption patterns, as well as tracking growth compared to similar research conducted in 1999 and 2004. While we expected to be surprised by some of the numbers reported, we weren’t prepared for just how media savvy (hungry) the next generation actually is. Highlights of the study’s findings follow below:

  • Average amount of media consumption per day (in hours) 10.75, up from 7.5 in 1999
  • Due to a propensity for multi-tasking (consuming multiple formats at one time) kids are able to pack this total amount into 7.5 hours
  • TV content is still king, accounting for 4.5 hours of viewing, but broadcast TV is losing ground to online and mobile viewing
  • 64% reported having a TV on during meals and 71% of students have a TV in their bedroom
  • Time spent on a computer 1.5 hours vs. print 0.5 hours
  • Computers are primarily being used for Social Media (25%), Gaming (19%) and Watching Videos (16%)
  • 76% of respondents own a portable MP3 player, up from just 18% in 2004
  • 66% own a cell phone, up from 39% in 2004
  • Kids spend an average of 0.5 hours talking on their mobile phones, but tend to consume more media on the devices, almost 1 hour a day
  • While reading books has remained consistent (47% of students read each day), daily consumption of  magazines and newspapers has dropped by 20% since 1999

A PDF of the entire study can be found here.

Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds

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