Breaking Down Ofcom’s Report on Kids’ Media Consumption

Matthew Warneford

On Monday Ofcom released their third review of public service broadcasting, examining the public’s consumption of public service broadcasting channels (TV and radio) and their competitors. We’ve examined the report, picked our top findings and charts, and summarised them below, paying specific attention to young people’s media consumption, both digital and traditional. If you want to read the whole document you can get it here.

Next week we’re going to look another recent Ofcom report, this time comparing the UK’s media consumption to the rest of the world. You can keep up with our work by signing up for our newsletters, This Week in Mobile Games and This Week in Youth Insight.

Household Take-up of Digital Communications/AV Devices 2003-2014

This graph highlights the growth and decline of media devices, including Digital TV, MP3 players, and E-readers. Smartphones have now been taken up by more than 60% of households while MP3 players have declined to below 35%.

Average Minutes of Daily TV Viewing, All Channels, by age, 2004-2013

Children’s time spent viewing TV has always been below that of adults but now it’s dropped from a high of 151 daily minutes recorded in 2010 to 134 today. Since 2004, the last time it was this low was 2006 when it dropped to 132 minutes. Minutes consumed by 16-24 year-olds has followed an identical pattern.

VoD Service Used at Least Monthly

Of those adults that use VoD (video on demand) services at least once a month, BBC iPlayer is the most used by far. Netflix is now used by 29% of adult VoD users.

Change in TV Viewing per day, by age; 2010-2013

TV viewing has dropped the most for children and adults aged 16-24. Ofcom is quick to point out that mobile phone ownership and home internet access are much lower for the older demographic. For instance, while 88% of 16-24s own a smartphone that number drops to 14% for those aged 65 and over, as well only 50% of 65s and over have home internet compared to 82% of UK adults.

Weekly Radio Listening Hours, by age Group: 2003-2013

People aged 15-24 are listening to radio less than any other age group, now averaging two hours a day.

Tech Natives

Ofcom has coined ‘Tech Natives’ as the younger demographic (16-30) whose audio-visual content is often consumed online. Less than half of this group consider TV as their most important source of relaxation and entertainment.

The Generation Gap’s Affect on PBS Consumption

Ofcom summarise their findings concerning PBS channel consumption, the age gaps and under-35’s preference for BBC Three and Channel 4.

Volume of Hours of First-run Original Children’s Programming, all day: 2008-2013

The number of hours devoted to first-run original children’s programming has fallen massively since 2002 (CBeebies and CBBC launched). The biggest drops coming from ITV, Channel 5 and BBC channels not dedicated to children’s programming.

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