Tech

Number of Kids Watching Online Videos Soars: Survey

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The number of young Americans watching online videos every day has more than doubled, according to survey findings released Tuesday. Theyre glued to them for nearly an hour a day, twice as long as they were four years ago.

And often, the survey found, theyre seeing the videos on services such as YouTube that are supposedly off-limits to children younger than age 13.

“It really is the air they breathe,” said Michael Robb, senior director of research for Common Sense Media, the nonprofit organization that issued the report. The group tracks young peoples tech habits and offers guidance for parents.

The survey of American youth included the responses of 1,677 young people ages 8 to 18. Among other things, it found that 56 percent of 8- to 12-year-olds and 69 percent of 13- to 18-year-olds watch online videos every day. In 2015, the last time the survey was conducted, those figures were 24 percent and 34 percent, respectively. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Overall screen time hasnt changed much in those four years, the survey found. The average tween, ages 8 to 12 for the purposes of this survey, spent four hours and 44 minutes with entertainment media on digital devices each day. For teens, it was seven hours and 22 minutes. That did not include the time using devices for homework, reading books, or listening to music.

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But the findings on video-watching indicate just how quickly this generation is shifting from traditional television to streaming services, often viewed on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Among the teens surveyed, only a third said they enjoyed watching traditional television programming “a lot,” compared with 45 percent four years ago. Half the tweens said the same, compared with 61 percent in the last survey.

YouTube was their overwhelming first choice for online videos, even among the tweens who were surveyed—three-quarters of whom say they use the site despite age restrictions. Only 23 percent in that age group said they watch YouTube Kids, a separate service aimed at them and even younger children. And of those, most still said they preferred regular YouTube.

“It puts a lot of pressure on a parent to figure out what they can reasonably filter,” Robb said.

When presented with the findings, YouTube said that, in the coming months, it would share details on ways the company is rethinking its approach to kids and families.

For now, Farshad Shadloo, a spokesperson for YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, reiterated the companys terms of use on age: “YouTube is not a site for people under 13.” Among other things, the company also cited its restriction filters and YouTube Kids.

Even so, many children with online access are adept at getting access to regular YouTube or other streamiRead More – Source