US Kids and Digital: Gauging How Digital These Digital Natives Really Are - eMarketer
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US Kids and Digital: Gauging How Digital These Digital Natives Really Are

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: November 22, 2016

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

Typically lacking smartphones, and with parents pushing back against their screen time, kids have a more nuanced relationship with technology than the “digital natives” label suggests. [Editor’s Note: For the purpose of this report, “kids” refers to children who are not yet teenagers.]

  • A majority of kids are internet users, with many of the older ones going online multiple times per day. But quality of access is an issue for many kids in lower-income families.
  • Tablets power much of kids’ digital usage, as smartphone ownership is the exception for kids until they get close to their teen years. Thus, constant connectedness is not part of daily life for kids as it is for young adults, though kids get some access to parents’ smartphones.
  • Not surprising for this age group, games and video account for much of kids’ digital activity, while social networking does not. Traditional TV retains a big audience among kids, as well. All of this screen time does not mean kids have lost interest in toys, though toys themselves are increasingly apt to be “smart.”
  • Amid concern about screen time, most parents set rules and try to monitor the content of their kids’ digital usage—though parents also rely on digital devices at times to pacify their kids and get some time for themselves. And there are positive, family-togetherness aspects of digital usage as well.

"Games and videos occupy much of kids’ attention online, with some variation between boys and girls. Social networking’s presence is much smaller."

Table of Contents

Putting an Asterisk on ‘Digital Natives’

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Basics of Kids’ Digital Usage and Device Access

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What Kids Do with Digital

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Don’t Forget Toys!

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Kids’ Screen Time as a Problem

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Conclusions

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Related eMarketer Report

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19 charts are included in the full report:

US Kids and Digital: Gauging How Digital These Digital Natives Really Are

Digital Activity Conducted Most Frequently by US Child Internet Users, by Gender, May 2016 (% of respondents)

Basics of Kids’ Digital Usage and Device Access

US Internet User Penetration, by Age, 2015-2020 (% of population in each group)

Monthly Media Reach Among US Children, Teens & Millennials, by Age, Q2 2016 (% reach)

Preferred Device for Watching Videos According to US Child Internet Users, 2014-2016 (% of respondents)

The Mobile Element

US Smartphone User Penetration, by Age, 2014-2020 (% of mobile phone users in each group)

US Children Who Own a Smartphone, by Gender, May 2016 (% of total)

Devices Used by US Child Internet Users to Access the Internet, 2012-2016 (% of respondents)

Number of Times US Mother vs. Father Internet Users Have Had Their Mobile Device Damaged by Their Children, Nov 2015 (% of respondents)

What Kids Do with Digital

US Digital Video Viewer Penetration, by Age, 2015-2020 (% of internet users in each group)

Digital Activity Conducted Most Frequently by US Child Internet Users, by Gender, May 2016 (% of respondents)

Top 25 Brands According to US Child Internet Users, July 2016 (index*)

Reasons that US Households with Children* Subscribe to Select Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) Services, July 2016 (% of respondents)

Playing Games

Primary Device Used to Access the Internet by US Child Internet Users, by Gender, May 2016 (% of respondents)

Kids as Social Networkers, or Not

US Social Network User Penetration, by Age, 2015-2020 (% of internet users in each group)

Social Media Platforms Used* by US Child Internet Users, 2015 & 2016 (% of respondents)

Don’t Forget Toys!

US Retail Toy Sales Growth, by Category, 2015 (% change vs. prior year)

Product Categories Purchased by US Amazon Prime Members, June 2015 & June 2016 (% of respondents)

Kids’ Screen Time as a Problem

Weekly Time Spent with Select Media/Devices Among US Children and Teens, by Age, Q2 2016 (hrs:mins)

Actions Taken by US Child Internet Users When They See a Digital Ad, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)