Children’s media consumption is increasing fast

One of the very few email newsletters I subscribe to and read is published by Ray Kurzweil (you can find it on his site KurzweilAI.net). I take the weekly digest which comes on a Sunday which is a longish read, but packed full of interesting links to articles about developments in medicine, man machine interface development, cybernetics and media – areas which I think may well spawn a whole raft of great companies over the next ten to twenty years.  Most of it is too far out to be relevant for venture investment in the short term which is why I haven’t mentioned it much here.

That was different yesterday when via the email I was linked to an amazing statistic in an International Business Times article about the growing amount of media consumed by America’s children.  They reported on a Kaiser Family Foundation Study which found that on average America’s 8-18 year olds devote 7hr 38mins a day to media use, up 20% over five years.

That is a whopping amount of time, and increasing fast. 

The growth is being driven by the proliferation of mobile and connected devices.  It is getting easier and easier to consume media in different places, so people are consuming more media.  You have to wonder where this ends up.

The study also found that for black and Hispanic children the average was nearer 13 hours.  I’m guessing this is largely an income driven disparity – which is a bit worrying.

The big picture story here is that if demand for media is growing and growing on new devices there will continue to be money to be made in creating services to satisfy that demand.  That means more Googles, Facebooks and Twitters.

  • Everyones connected these days. 8-year old kids have cellphones…its crazy

  • Hi Nic,
    Anecdotal, but the ease with which our young daughters flick between devices (shunning TV) to access content has amazed me. It's always consumed in smaller chunks, on their terms and on many occasions merges with 'real life' play. Couldn't agree more with post above.

  • The blurring of play and media consumption could a be a pre-cursor to the blurring of the distinction between real world and virtual world activity. Then we are talking some really big changes!

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  • I was shopping in Ikea this weekend (well, I was doing email via iPhone while my girlfriend was shopping), and there was a 3 year old in his mom's shopping basket, watching a video on his own iphone. Happy as a clam. We were both there against our wills, and we both had outs.

  • brilliant

  • Thanks for your sharing…

  • Damn… that’s not good at all. I think the parents should think about it and it’s their fault for this situation :/ Shut down facebook and they’ll go out and play for more than 3 per day :/

  • Some of them also have iPads :/