Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yesterday's News: NPD's Kids and Digital Content

As Kidscreen's Gary Rusak (and numerous others) reported yesterday, The NPD Group has released a new study on kids' (aged 2-to-14 years) digital usage patterns, called Kids and Digital Content. As Rusak writes:
One of the more notable observations to come out of Kids and Digital Content, says NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier, is that despite the greater multi-functionality that devices - including computers, video game consoles, MP3 players and cell phones- provide, kids are by and large using the device for its primary purpose. A full 86% of kids surveyed said they used iPod-like devices to listen to music, while only 17% said they used the devices to watch movies, for example. "What this means," she explains, "is that the idea of device convergence has a ways to go to before it really becomes a factor in kids lives." In other words, kids won't be casting aside their computers in favor of internet-enabled, all-encompassing gaming systems or multi-functional cell phones anytime soon.

The study also revealed that kids download video clips the most frequently (7.1 times/month), followed by music videos (5.7 times/month), music (4.2 times/month), games (3.1 times/month) and ring tones (2.8 times/month). But the most popular activity by far remains playing video games, with a full 84% of the study's respondents gaming on all or one of the digital devices.

According to the NPD press release, the report also explores the different ways in which kids consume content. For example, the findings reveal that:
The way kids consume their digital content varies. Games and movies are primarily driven by their physical offerings, while ring tones/ring tunes are often consumed digitally, though half report consuming them in the physical format. Almost all kids who use movie content get it in the physical format, with one-quarter also getting movies in digital format.

I'm not sure I completely understand what they mean by "physical content," but I suppose it's meant to indicate that a physical product has been purchased. As with many NPD studies, the findings were gathered via "surrogate reporting"...i.e. through moms...which means that the findings are likely somewhat off, but interesting and useful nonetheless.

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