Research Insights 4 & 5

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2013 5:28pm by Niel Bushnell

Blogged by Niel Bushnell.

Top Ten Takeouts.

  1. 12-15 year old girls send 30 text messages a day.
  2. Half of toddlers are surfing the web for movies and games.
  3. TV remains central to children but they are mutliscreen users.
  4. Internet access is less prevalent in poorer households.
  5. 2 in 10 households have a tablet device – more in AB familes.
  6. Top 3 programmes watched by 4-9 year olds are The Gruffalo’s Child, Doctor Who and Britain’s Got Talent.
  7. Top 3 programmes watched by 10-15 year olds are Britain’s Got Talent, I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here and the X Factor.
  8. 8-11 year olds love YouTube.
  9. Children dislike adverts.
  10. Kids are makers. Let them make things.

Research Session 4.  Contented Content Consumers?

This was a session full of facts and figures, delivered expertly by Martina Chapman, Senior Research Manager at Ofcom. The research focused on how children interact with TV, looking at what was important to them in this rapidly changing industry, with some surprising results.

Download this presentation

 The research showed that the vast majority of children up to the age of 15 still get their television from the TV. Less than 30% said they chose online and mobile as a way to consume TV. This percentage does increase in the 12-15 age group but it’s reassuring for those who fear the decline of the ‘idiot lantern.’

But it’s not all good news for TV producers. Children might still be watching, but they don’t have our undivided attention. More and more children are multitasking. 32% of 12 to 15 year olds said they routinely multitasked – typically texting or using social media on a mobile device – while watching TV. This trend in second screen activity can only be good news for reality and entertainment shows, but the advantages to documentary makers are less clear, but solutions will have to be found if we are to continue to engage with younger viewers across a broad range of programme types.

It seems that children don’t always trust what we’re telling them either. When asked if they thought that a show told a true picture of what really happened reality shows like the X Factor split the audience. Documentaries and news programmes were trusted more but even then doubts grew with age and viewer sophistication.

If you want to learn more about Ofcom’s research you should visit:



Research Session 5. Taking a Byte of the Teacher’s Apple

The next session was presented by David Kleeman, Senior Vice President – Insights Programs and PlayVangelist, PlayCollective. David explained how children as young as 3 were regularly using the internet, and that only half of multi-channel households have parental controls on TV viewing, apart from restricting how late they could stay up watching it.

Download this presentation

They like to watch and learn, but most of all kids are makers. We should invest in toys that help children make things, explore their creativity and have something to show for it. The emerging 3D printer market has much to look forward to, but even shows like Bamzookie where the creation is less tangible and tactile are held up as great examples of how to get children making things and learning.

Learning through failure is not a bad thing, David explains, but the child must be shown their positioning in relation to the bigger picture. But their attention span is still limited, so learning needs to be bite sized, no more than 5-10 minutes works best. They’re natural learners – Google and YouTube are the top visited sites amongst younger children. They want to learn and the challenge for us as content makers is to find ways to hold their attention.

Event Reports

Niel Bushnell, Animation Producer/Director – Qurios

About the author

Niel Bushnell

Qurios, Animation Producer/Director

Niel has worked in animation for almost 20 years, starting in traditional 2D feature production before moving into the 3D world of computer games. In 2002 he established his own animation studio, Qurios, producing commercial, corporate and broadcast animation. He's just co-produced two animated episodes of Doctor Who, as well… Read more