The annual report, published since the mid-1990s, examines how UK children interact with various forms of media. For the first time, online activity has overtaken television, which Childwise describes as a “historic shift”.
On average, children now spend three hours a day online, compared to just 2.1 hours watching TV. The remoteness of the living room is even more apparent among adolescents: less than a quarter of children watch live TV when it is broadcast. Others prefer to use catch-up and on-demand services, or watch through YouTube.
Almost a third of this age group (32%) also did not have a favorite television program. Of the shows identified as favorites across all age groups, including Hollyoaks and Pretty Little Liars, none had been seen with more than 2% of children in the previous week.
But at least half of them would have watched something on Netflix. When asked what services they had used the week before, 50% had watched a show on the subscription video-on-demand service, making it the most-watched TV service of all. ITV1 (47%) and BBC1 (46%) were the second and third most watched, respectively.
Simon Leggett, research director at Childwise, said the investigation showed traditional television had been “redefined”.
He said: “The growing access to the internet anytime, anywhere, and a blurring of TV content between channels and devices, is bringing historic behavior change this year.
“Kids are now looking for the content they want. They still find traditional television programs appealing, but watch them more and more online and on demand or by watching excessively boxed sets. “
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