Parents Show Above-Avg Adoption of Internet-Enabled Devices

June 20, 2012

ipsos-parents-adoption-internet-enabled-devices-june2012.pngParents are showing healthy levels of new media and technology adoption, according to June 2012 Ipsos MediaCT survey results. Among parents of children aged 6-12, 69% own a cell phone that can access the internet, while 37% own a tablet, and 26% an e-reader.

To put those latter numbers in perspective, January 2012 data from Pew indicates that 19% of US adults own a tablet, with the same proportion claiming ownership of an e-reader.

Parents also show above-average ownership of internet-enabled TVs: 16% of the respondents said they own such a device. Although not an exact comparison, April 2012 research from Leichtmann Research Group estimates that 4% of households in the US are connected to the internet through their TV solely via an internet-enabled set (as opposed to via a video game system.)

Armed With Devices, Kids Visit SocNets

Data from Ipsos’ “Kids and Social Media” indicates that with all these devices at their disposal, many children are bypassing social networking age restrictions and either visiting these sites or even maintaining a profile page. 42% have visited a social networking site, with 7 in 10 of those owning a profile page. This means that 29% of these children aged 6-12 have their own page on a social networking site.

These children’s parents aren’t out of the loop, either: 8 in 10 parents with children who have a social networking profile are aware of their child’s activities because they are friends with them on the site.

Apps Also Popular With Kids

Children aren’t only communicating with friends over social networks, they’re also spending time accessing applications on mobile devices. According to May 2012 data from the NPD Group, there are an average of 12 apps on devices that children (aged 2-14) have access to, with the vast majority (88%) of those apps being downloaded for free. Per the report, children spend roughly 5 days a week using mobile devices such as an iPad or smartphone, with an average session lasting close to 1 hour.

Kids Love Playing Games

Results from both the Ipsos and NPD Group surveys point to an unsurprising revelation: children love to play games, and that translates to their technology and media usage, too. According to the NPD Group report, gaming is the most popular type of app used by children, with an average of 6.5 apps per device. At the same time, the Ipsos survey shows that among children who have their own social networking page, playing games (57%) ranks almost on par with seeing what other people are writing (58%) as the most popular activities.

This aligns with February research from Nielsen, which found that 70% of tablet-owning parents with children under 12 say their kids use the device, with the most popular activity being to play downloaded games (77%).

About the Data: The Ipsos data is based on a survey of 2,118 US families with children aged between 6 and 12. The NPD Group study is based on an online survey fielded from March 6-21, 2012, to a representative sample of male and female adults ages 18 and over whom are members of NPD’s online panel and have children ages 2 to 14 in the household. Parents of very young children were asked to complete the survey on behalf of their child, while parents of older children were asked to either have the child answer the survey or join them while answering the survey. Respondents with more than one child in the specified age range were instructed to answer for a randomly selected child. The study is based on 2,502 completed surveys.

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