Since 2005, portable digital music players (PDMP), digital cameras, and cell phones experienced double-digit growth in kids’ personal ownership, while devices such as portable CD players saw double-digit declines over the same time period, according to Kids and Consumer Electronics IV, a report from market research company, The NPD Group.
According to the report, a higher percentage of kids ages 4-14 are using computers (desktops and laptops) than they are televisions, with 75% of children claiming they use a computer and only 70% saying they use a television. Fourteen-percent of kids in the age group own their own desktop or laptop computer.
“In the three years we've been monitoring kids’ interaction with consumer electronics, computers have always played a central role in kids ‘digi-lives,’ serving as a hub for many of their connected activities,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “This most recent study revealed an increase in the use of social networking sites, which points to the growing attraction kids have for this type of online experience.”
Of all CE devices tracked in the report, personal ownership has increased most for PDMP players over the past three years, moving from 4% to 28%. PDMP usage has doubled two years in a row, increasing 10 percentage points over the past year, making PDMP’s the strongest growth product in both year-over-year and over time trends.
In terms of usage, 88% of kids who use a PDMP are using them primarily as music playing devices, but kids are becoming more open to using the device for other functions such as watching movies or music videos, with 3-in-10 kids now using the PDMP to watch video content.
With 20% of kids ages 4-14 owning their own cell phone and 13% of kids ages 4-5 using them, devices such as mobile phones are gaining momentum in this increasingly important demographic. While communications remains the most important driver for cell phone usage among kids, they are using them for a wide variety of reasons, from talking, to text messaging, to taking and sending pictures and playing games.