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Home >Industry >Parents watch over children’s media consumption: Turner study

Mumbai: The new generation of children—The Plurals, or those born after 1997—with their increased access to Internet and latest technologies are willing to explore non-traditional career choices, thereby gaining greater attention of their parents, who often struggle to catch up with them, shows a new study. They have greater say on their parents’ decisions too.

The study, New Generations™ 2016, conducted by Turner International India Pvt. Ltd, the network which runs popular children’s channels such as Pogo, Cartoon Network and Toonami, covered areas such as lifestyle, opinion, behavioural patterns and spending habits of more than 6,000 children in India.

The study, which is in its 16th year now, covered 6,690 respondents and included feedback from kids aged from seven to 14 years and parents of 4-14 year-old kids, across 29 cities in India, including towns with a population of less than 100,000.

“New Generations™ 2016 study throws up data and trends that define the kids of today—The Plurals. We are certain that these insights will help create an industry benchmark and will change the way in not just how we, but also how marketers, businesses and advertisers engage with kids, as a category altogether," said Siddharth Jain, managing director (South Asia) at Turner International India Pvt. Ltd.

According to the study, parents are keen to monitor what their children were doing, including their interactions on social media and what they watched on television and mobiles.

According to the study 94% of the parents monitored their child’s usage of social networking sites; 50% parents watched television with their children daily and 80% of them closely monitored what their kids were viewing.

“Here was a paradox. At one end, the Plurals are more independent, better informed and are more aware of what’s going on in the world. And at the other end of the spectrum are the parents who are struggling to keep pace with and monitor what their children are doing," said Rahul Sachdev, director (research) at Turner International India, explaining that this was increasing as children moved to more personal screens such as mobile phones.

To be sure, more than 50% of the kids use computers. About 25% access the Internet and 84% of the children surveyed in the 7-14 years age-group used a desktop. Nearly 33% kids aged between 4-6 years were open to newer technologies.

On mobile phone use by children, Sachdev said that it was not uncommon for parents to let their children use and carry their mobile phones to school, tuitions or for an outing. “The need to stay connected and know that their child was just a phone call away was a huge factor," Sachdev said.

Ninety percent of children surveyed were growing up in homes with mobile phones and 62% of these children were using their parents’ or other family member’s mobile devices. While a fairly small percentage of children had their own phones, the usage was fairly high.

Interestingly, this trend is not limited to urban areas and extends to smaller towns. Gaming and calls were the two most popular activities followed by listening to music, texting and watching videos. The survey found that 32% children download applications out of which 70% download the paid applications.

Children were increasingly influencing their parents’ decisions. In the consumer durables category, 50% of kids influenced their parent’s decision and 78% of kids helped their parents choose a travel destination.

Surprisingly, malls were the top area of consideration while choosing the destination both for children and their parents, while historic monuments and adventure sports were at the fag end of the list.

An area of concern was nutrition and physical exercise. Nearly 41% of parents worried about their child’s irregular eating habits, 32% were stressed over the lack of exercise and 20% over the lack of outdoor activity.

Television viewing ranked the highest in media consumption at 97%, followed by reading newspapers and books (49% and 44%, respectively), surfing the Internet (29%), reading comics (25%), listening to radio (21%), watching DVDs (15%) and films( 7%).

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