Digital Marketing Researches & Reports

Children & Parents: Media Use & Attitudes, 2016 | Ofcom

Consumer Behavior | UK

Children are no longer the same, new technology has changed their habits and preferences given the increased use of portable devices to go online. So, these points provide some useful insight into what children are doing online and information about parents’ views about their children’s media use:

Children’s Use of Media Devices:

  • TV sets & tablets are the most used devices for children aged 3-15 years.
  • The usage of mobile phones by children in 2016 has increased to reach 62%, up from 58% in 2015.
  • Smartphone & tablet ownership are higher among children aged 5-15 years.
  • Girls aged 12-15 years are more likely to feel missing their mobile phone than boys (60% vs. 49%).

Children’s Media Consumption:

  • The time children spend online has increased since 2015 from 13 hours 42 minutes per week on average up to 15 hours.
  • Parents of children aged 3-4 years are more likely to estimate that their child spends more time online in 2016.

Internet Use by Children:

  • 87% of children are internet users.
  • More than half of children aged 5-15 years go online using a tablet, while fewer are going online using a desktop computer, laptop or netbook.
  • The use of YouTube or app increases with the age of the child, accounting for 37% of children aged 3-4 and 87% of 12-15 years.
  • The majority of children aged 8-11 years prefer to use mobile phones to access social media.

A Graph Shows The Smartphone Ownership, by Age of Child, 2016.


Ofcom is the UK's communications regulator. Ofcom makes sure people get the best from their home phone and mobile services. Ofcom also keeps an eye on TV, radio and on-demand content and ensures consumers don’t get scammed and are protected from bad practice.

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