Research 1: Children’s Media Use: A Changing World – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:28am by Tom Jordan


  • There has been a massive amount of change in online behaviour in the last few years
  • The big areas of increased use among children are in social media and short-form video
  • There is a lack of awareness among children about the nature and purpose of advertising.

Session Details

Alison Preston, Head of Media Literacy Research at Ofcom, presented findings and analysis from an Ofcom study into the changing trends of the media use of both parents and children.

The slide show, with detailed statistical analysis and survey results will be added soon

Much of the analysis was based on quantitative studies. A sample of 1,600 adults and children recorded their ‘digital day’ in the form of filling in a diary of their media activities every 15 minutes (for a week for adults, and for three days for the children).

Qualitative studies in the form of in-home videos complemented these results, with more qualitative studies are to be carried out tracking subjects over the next three years to find out further how children’s media fits in their lives.

Interesting pull-out information from the in-depth study included:

  • There was a significant growth in the use of mobiles and tablets over PCs and laptops as the preferred method of online access in the home between 2011 and 2014, with more kids choosing the privacy and independence from parental control that they offer.
  • Different families have different entertainment configurations in the home, and some parents are not always aware that children can access the internet through other devices such as consoles and smart TVs.
  • Live TV is still an important part of children’s media use, but preferences for YouTube and short-form videos are becoming ever-more popular.
  • Children from the sample tended to see advertising as a mark of the trustworthiness of a site – big brands advertising on a site made children feel they could trust the site. But a general trend was for an absence of awareness of personalised advertising, or product placement and sponsorship of games.

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About the author

Tom Jordan

Freelance, Writer

Tom is a freelance writer and editor based in Sheffield. He has over a decade of experience in travel publishing, writing for National Geographic Traveller, Sunday Times Travel Magazine and CNN, among others, and editing for travel guide books. His recent focus has also been as a development editor in… Read more