Research 8 & 9 – Report

Posted on: Friday 04 July 2014 11:17pm by Danny Stack


This was a fascinating and invigorating insight into the facts and figures of how we interact with the new digital age! Kids are using tablets and smartphones more and more, echoing the message from the keynote speech of Dylan Collins: the future is mobile.

Session Details

As you might expect, this was jam-packed with stats, facts, figures and impressively colourful charts. If ever you were dubious or uninterested in research, this was the session to dispel you of that notion.

8. Ofcom’s Facts and Figures

Martina Chapman, Senior Research Manager from Ofcom stepped forward to present the key findings from their ‘Children & Parents: 2013 Media Use & Attitudes’ report. This was polled from over 4,000 interviews: 1700 interviews with 5-15 year-olds. 1700 interviews with their parents and 700 interviews with parents of 3-4s during April/May 2013.

They discovered that tablets are becoming the must-have device for children while older children are opting for smartphones.

Media devices in bedrooms actually decreased in 2013 but 84% of children access internet at home. However, there’s been a significant drop of social media profiles from 67% of 12-15 year-olds, & 22% of 8-12yrs.


The most popular online platforms are: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, MySpace, Bebo (rapid decline in the latter two).

TV is still popular across all age groups, with 15.4 hrs per week of TV & 12 hrs of internet use. 45% of kids are watching TV shows not on a TV, and can cross-media multi-task of up to three screens.

Interestingly, only 47% of kids thought that TV effectively represented people of their age group while 59% of kids thought the internet did a better representation.

91% of kids say they’re confident they know how to be safe online but only 63% are confident that they can use internet for creative things.

48% say can’t find what they’re looking for online!


83% of parents trust their children online. 79% talk to child about staying safe. 45% do so monthly. 6 in 10 parents use some kind of tech mediation (parental controls etc). ½ of parents think their children know more about the internet than they do. 85% of parents are doing something: talking, rules, mediation – an important developing communication with the child.

View the presentation: Research 8
Martina’s full session report

9. Nickelodeon’s Soap Box

Alison York, Research Director at Nickelodeon, came forward to outline their passion and commitment to research. It drives their programming, marketing & partnerships.

Kids seamlessly navigate between the digital and the real world. Kids now expect to see screens everywhere and to be able to interact with them via touch. Kids still value physical play but successful brands facilitate easy interaction across platforms.

Kids are exposed to touch screens from early age but they do like physical experiences, toys, merchandise & theme parks.

Increasingly in social media they prefer closed & personal networks, like WhatsApp. Photos & video sharing most desirable. Facebook, while still popular, is starting to feel old and over-commercial. YouTube hugely popular. Instagram & Vine also. Enjoyment is an important need for kids’ digital needs. Next is imagine, explore & create.

Nickelodeon developed Soapbox so that they could have a monthly touch point with their audience to track what’s hot & not, test new & existing content, assess marketing effectiveness, understand wider media usage and provide actionable insights, keeping up with kids’ trends.

Robin Hilton from Research Bods then explained how they built/developed Soap Box for Nickelodeon, especially as it’s now evolved into a key platform for Nickelodeon to interact with their audience. The design of the community site is engaging and fun, with mobile short fun tasks for kids to provide reward and motivation.

View the presentation: Research 9

Final Facts

TV is still very much central for kids but how they view continues to change.

TV is the laid back best friend. For parents, TV is more complicated. It has the role of routine, child minder, educator, entertainer, and a form of relaxation.

How kids watch TV changes as they get older. Parents would like kids to be digital literate but to balance this with other activities: sports, friends, etc, and try to encourage them back to big screen (small screen too solo/introverted).

There simply wasn’t enough time to delve into all of the fascinating facts and figures, and colourful charts, but let me leave you with one of my own homemade charts to give you an expert flavour of how the session managed to inspire.

For full details of the speakers check the Session Guide.

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Danny Stack

About the author

Danny Stack

Nelson Nutmeg Pictures, Screenwriter

Danny’s writing credits include 'Octonauts', CBBC’s 'Roy', and the new 'Thunderbirds' for CITV. He also writes/directs, and is in pre-production for a live-action children's film called Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg? Danny is known for his popular blog, Scriptwriting In The UK, which inspired him to set up the Red Planet Prize (a… Read more