Internet to overshadow TV in the next 2 years

New report predicts future technology trends among children and young people


Childwise Conected KidsThe dominance of watching a television set as a childhood pastime is likely to end within the next two years - with youngsters likely to be spending more time online for the first time ever, according to the new CHILDWISE ‘Connected Kids’ report.

Future generations of children are also more likely to watch content, such as TV programmes, on a tablet, or even a phablet (a tablet-style mobile phone) than they are a traditional television set, laptop or PC.

Soon children will expect to stay connected at all times – everywhere and anywhere. This is likely to influence how willing they are to participate in trips out and family holidays.

CHILDWISE’s ‘Connected Kids’ analyses 20 years of annual survey data from children and young people across the UK. It shows the progression of technologies, ownership and usage, and predicts how they might change into the future.

“This is the first time we have analysed data from the last 20 years of the annual CHILDWISE Monitor surveys to predict the progression of technologies and their usage,” says CHILDWISE researcher Matthew Nevard.

“This groundbreaking report uses the wealth of historic data we have on children’s media usage to identify trends and theorise how children’s media engagement is likely to develop over the next few year,” adds Matthew.

CHILDWISE Trendlines future predictions

  • Tablet ownership will continue to increase, with the potential to reach similar levels to mobile ownership in the next few years.
  • Ownership of laptops and PCs is likely to fall.
  • Screen time will level out. As time spent using the internet and mobiles increases gradually, time spent watching television on a traditional set is declining. More on demand and binge viewing on tablets and laptops.
  • Decline in the proportion of children with TV sets in their bedroom, from around 80% of 7-16s in 2004 to 60% in 2014. Children and young people can now watch content in their own room on other devices, such as laptops and tablets. This trend is set to continue over the next few years.
  • Children will expect to be able to access the internet anywhere and everywhere - ability to access their online lives may even influence their willingness to participate in family holidays and trips out.
  • The use of portable devices makes it more difficult for parents to regulate what their children are accessing on the internet. Therefore, protecting children from inappropriate content online is set to be a continuing issue going forward.
  • For the first time children could spend more hours online than watching television. The wealth of content available online and popularity of YouTube is drawing young people to the internet over linear TV viewing.
  • Traditional social networks to decline steadily in popularity with photo and video sharing sites increasingly coming out as favourites among young people.
  • Mobiles to become a ‘hub’ device, used to coordinate a variety of other technological devices. It is likely that children and young people will use their mobiles to interact with the television, either indirectly through second-screen viewing or as a controller.
  • Apps such as YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat to continue to be popular. Facebook is still widely used but its popularity is declining in favour of newer experiences.
  • In the next two years

    Children’s internet use is likely to overshadow the television. TV viewing on traditional sets continues to decline at a steady rate, whilst hours spent online will increase. Children expect to choose the content they engage with and on-demand services like Netflix will be the norm.

    In the next five years

    Likely convergence of technology currently in use. Some children may choose ‘phablets’ (tablet-like phones) instead of the current popular combination of phone and tablet/laptop. Televisions likely to be increasingly internet-connected, allowing streaming of content from portable devices to the big screen. Cloud technology means children will expect to access their files and information anywhere and on any device.

    In the next 10 years

    Children growing up will have little understanding of a world without the internet. Having appliances which cannot be controlled using a smartphone or some kind of online dashboard may be seen as outdated, or at least increasingly rare. Wearable technology likely to have progressed significantly by this point.

    The CHILDWISE Monitor survey is a comprehensive annual research study with children and young people across the UK. The study looks at children’s media consumption and purchasing behaviour, and at aspects of their wider life.

    Written by E-safety Support on October 29, 2015 12:31


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