Children watch half as much live TV as adults, says Ofcom

Ofcom childrens studyChildren aged 11 to 15 watch half the amount of live TV and six times more short online video clips per day compared to adults, according to new research by Ofcom.

The UK broadcast regulator found that 11 to 15 year olds watch 1 hour and 32 minutes of live TV per day and 33 minutes of short online video clips, compared to 2 hours and 58 minutes of TV and five minutes of clips for adults.

In a clear indication of a generational shift in viewing habits, the Children’s Digital Day research said that 45% of 11-15 year olds watch online video clips on websites every week compared with 20% of adults. These clips account for 19% of overall viewing time for this age group compared with just 2% for adults, said Ofcom.

While children aged 11 to 15 were found to watch a similar amount of free on-demand TV from services like the BBC iPlayer and 4oD as adults (13 minutes compared to 12 minutes) they did so less frequently.

Some 38% adults said they watch these services each week, compared to 26% of 11 to 15 year-olds.

“11-15 year olds are more likely to do more than one activity at the same time, as they squeeze 9 hours 33 minutes of media activity each day into 7 hours 3 minutes,” said Ofcom.

“A fifth of time 11-15s spend on ‘watching’ activities is attributed to short online video content. Considering all of the time spent on ‘watching’ activities across a week among 11-15 year olds, just over half (52%) is to live television, compared to 69% for all adults.”