New MRI Study of Youngsters' Media Habits Released

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- The first survey of American children by Mediamark Research Inc. has found that children differ from adults in one way that should interest advertisers: Most of them aren’t skipping TV ads.
One surprising finding of the study is that the surveyed children are more likely to listen to music on CD players than MP3 or iPod players.

About 5,400 children ages 6- through 11-years-old responded to the American Kids Study by MRI. When asked what they do when a commercial comes on TV, nearly 60% responded that they watch the spot.

Other findings seem to indicate children aren’t growing up too fast when it comes to technology. More than half said they listen to music on CD players more than MP3 players, and that most (74%) listened to music most often on car radios. Only 4.1% said they listen on an MP3 player (although it will be interesting to see how many more use MP3 players after this holiday season).

Top online acitivity: gaming
The findings also found that more than half of those children have a TV in their bedrooms and that their top online activity is gaming. While more than half of the respondents said they had gone online in the prior months, only 8.1% said they visit the Web every day. Nearly 29% of boys said they played a video game, computer game or Web game every day, compared with about 11% of girls. Only 6.6% of children said they have Internet access in their rooms, although 16.8% do have a computer in their bedroom.

MRI plans to track these trends over time with regular updates of the survey. The survey will also be supplemented in coming months by the results of simultaneous research performed on one parent or guardian of the young respondents, which asked how the interaction between parents and children shapes media consumption and purchase behavior.

Little research
Rainer Jenss, publisher at National Geographic Kids and one of the charter subscribers to the study, said when his title came out three years ago, there was relatively little syndicated research for the kids market.

“The demand for research in the kids’ print area has grown,” he said, adding that he was most eager for the addition of the data on parents. “That is really valuable. We’re getting more and more traction with advertisers interested in reaching parents via their kids.”

Marketers such as Westin Hotels, Budget Rent-a-Car and Ford Motor Co. were three Mr. Jenss cited as being interested in children's media options.

Charter subscribers to the American Kids Study include media agencies like Carat, MediaVest and MindShare as well as media companies like the Cartoon Network and Time Inc.’s Time for Kids. The survey period was March 8 to Aug. 1.

Most Popular
In this article: