Report: Kids Multitask While Watching Video

Children are consuming increasing amounts of content from a wider variety of sources, and often multitasking to fit more in, according to new data from Futuresource Consulting.

In a study of 9,800 consumer interviews carried out with children aged between three and 16 years in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Mexico, the U.K. and U.S., London-based Futuresource found  multi-tasking is becoming the norm for entertainment consumption, with 52% of children in the survey saying they engage with another device while watching TV.

Of these, 61% play video games, 32% watch video on a second screen and 28% are on social media.

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“Children are constantly finding more time for entertainment consumption,” Carl Hibbert, associate director at Futuresource Consulting, said in a statement. “From watching online video, to playing video games; from consuming music, to interacting with social media, the hours of engagement continue to climb.”

Despite a rise in non-video activities, this does not seem to be cannibalizing TV viewing on a large scale. Linear TV is still reported as the most popular viewing platform in China, France and Germany across all age ranges, with free online video becoming increasingly important for kids of 11 and above.

In the U.K. and U.S., SVOD and free online video consumption is becoming comparable to free linear TV. In Brazil and Mexico, there is a significant migration towards new media, with free online video the most popular viewing platform across all ages.

According to the study, 45% of parents stated ease of use was the main feature as to why their child used a specific video platform. It ranked number one across kids that used linear TV, free online video and transactional video services, ahead of the quantity of content available recognised/preferred brand and safer content.

“As an example, our survey shows that children who interact with TikTok, the free social media app that lets you watch, create, and share short videos, [most respondents] are looking for a combination of consumption and creation,” Hibbert said.