The Toy Industry Association (TIA), in collaboration with the NPD Group, just released findings from a new study on kids, toys and online play. According to Virtual Worlds News, the report, entitled Online Play: Earning Mom's Trust and Children's Interest, is "designed to help industry players understand what’s driving moms and kids ages 2 to 14 to social, gaming and/or entertainment" sites. Key findings include:
* 28% of kids who use social gaming/entertainment sites have "purchased either a physical item or digital content from these sites."
* Many kids spend upwards of 16 hours a week in virtual worlds - "creating avatars, playing games, earning and spending virtual currency, and socializing."
* Online-offline toys offer "enhanced play value and are the glue that bonds these digital natives...to a new generation of play."
* Kids rarely go online alone, and siblings play a large role in the online experience. ("suggesting an opportunity for content that can appeal to multiple consumers with team-oriented participation.")
* Gaming is the primary activity driving kids' internet use ages 2 to 14: 76 percent of all kids on the internet are "drawn" to social and gaming sites. Furthermore, 75% of 6-to-8 year olds and over 90% of kids over 8 yrs are accessing online content.
Additional findings will be presented at the upcoming Virtual Worlds Kids conference (September 3rd in LA). A big thanks to Izzy Neis for the head's up.