Kids are tech-savvy, but some are still traditionalists: study

Children under 17 are streaming music and podcasts in big numbers, but some stereotypes don’t hold up.

Are teens more keen on Snapchat than Facebook? Are kids watching more TV on mobile devices than their living room set?

A new study shows that some of the stereotypes around young people and media might not be accurate.

Released earlier this month from Media Technology Monitor’s new MTM Junior research division, the study took a look at just how children between the ages of two and 17 are using media.

It is estimated that roughly 20% of Canadians are under the age of 18, and nearly half of that cohort owns their own cell phone. The brand of choice is an iPhone.

Based on data collected from approximately 2,270 children via online survey of 1,660 households in February 2019, the study found 87% of teens have visited a social networking site in the past month. And, it was likely Instagram.

Despite the narrative that Facebook is more popular with elders than teens, the social media site was still found to be more favoured with teens than third-place finisher Snapchat. The study found influencers and other social media stars are what attracts them to using between one and three social networking sites each month.

And, although teens are more likely to spend their screen time watching YouTube on a personal device, younger children tend to choose the traditional route for TV. On average, adolescents tend to watch 8.5 hours of content (on any device) per week, six hours more than younger audiences.

When it comes to music, roughly 40% of children aged two to 12 have listened to a streaming service in the past month. For teens that number jumps to seven in 10.

As the podcast industry continues to grow, so too does the diversity of its listeners. One in five teens listen monthly, while 73% of those listeners are tuning in on a weekly basis.

Gaming remains a large portion of media consumption for both children and teens. At least once a week 79% of children use a game console while 37% play almost every day. Games like Grand Theft Auto, Fortnite and Apex Legends have made online gaming popular; more than 60% of console users are engaging with other gamers.