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Stat of the Day: Half of Kids Under 8 Have Access to Mobile Media

Smartphones and iPads are Prevalent, but TV Pervasive

By Published on . 9

Behavioral Archetypes chart
Source: Common Sense Media

Roughly 13% of the U.S. population was born before network TV existed. The same number were born after the BlackBerry, and give or take 5% were born after the iPhone debuted.

For the most part, my mom excluded, people adapt to technology if they can figure out why they should need to.

But what about those who have been surrounded by it since birth? The pre-TV 13% probably had radios in their houses, but that was it. Today's kids have some combination of cellphones, computers, TVs, DVDs/CDs/Blu-rays, gaming systems, HD radios, tablets, etc.

As we've discussed earlier, consumers of all ages are using more types of media throughout the day -- even the youngest iGen kids. The stats from a new study from Common Sense Media are both remarkable and in some cases depressing. We'll start with the eye-popping:

Half of kids under 8 (and 40% of 2- to 4-year-olds) have access to a smartphone, iPad or some other mobile media device. Ten percent use these devices daily for an average of 43 minutes. As you might guess, there are some income disparities here. With all the new technologies, however, TV is still king. Seventy-four percent of the media consumption of kids under 8 still consists of the big screen, not the little one.

That leads us to some more depressing stats: Kids under 2 spend more than twice as much time watching video as they do being read to. Nearly four in 10 kids grows up in a house where the TV is on most or all of the time, even if no one is watching it. By the time they hit 8 years old, kids are as likely to have a TV in their bedroom as not.

As all of these technologies become more prevalent and necessary, the fact that those families with incomes over $75,000 are 40 percentage points more likely to have them is going to be a huge story for the economy and marketers moving forward. Similar spreads are seen when comparing those with college degrees or no college degrees, and with the white population vs. the Hispanic population.

See the full report on the Common Sense Media site.

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