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The term “digital native” gains more meaning as more and more digital content is targeted toward children learning to use computers and mobile devices at a young age. A study from KidBox, a Spanish- and Portuguese-language family-oriented web service, monitored usage of its child-safe internet platform among 60,000 families with children up to 8 years old in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela in May 2013. The study found that 42% of children used internet-connected devices, spending an average of 40 minutes online per day.
Though the report refers to survey respondents as “child internet users” it may be more illustrative to describe the study’s results as “usage of child-focused content” in households with children up to the age of 8. In other words, the report tracked usage of content from KidBox targeted to children, but whether the user was parent, child or both is unclear. Nonetheless, for marketers looking for branding and direct-response opportunities that eventually would reach parents or children, the difference may be immaterial.
The KidBox study found considerable variation in usage between online and mobile, and among different countries as well. On computers, digital media usage was highly focused on game play across the board, with about three-quarters of all PC usage dedicated to gaming, as opposed to videos and general website content.
On mobile, general site visits were particularly uncommon in Latin America as a whole. There was also less disparity between video viewing and gaming on mobile, compared with the PC. With that said, there were distinct variances breaking out Argentina and Mexico individually. In Argentina, 56% of media usage was devoted to mobile videos and 38% went to games, and the percentages were nearly flipped for Latin America at large—about one-third of mobile web time in Latin America went to videos, while nearly two-thirds went to games. Mexico found itself in the middle, as time was split nearly equally between mobile digital video and games.
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