Traditional TV Viewing Will Soon Be Extinct if The Kids Are All Right

By Gerald Lynch on at

"Hahaha – look at granddad with his satellite TV subscription and his 2TB PVR and his copy of the Radio Times," said little Jimmy. "I bet he doesn't even know who Zoella is or how to Netflix and chill or nothing, the old mug."

That, I assume, is what all the kids sound like these days, given the latest findings by the annual Childwise media monitoring report. It's quizzed 2,000 five to 16 year olds on their media consumption habits, finding the gulf between adult and youngsters' preferences growing ever wider.

Calling it a "landmark change", Childwise found that children are now spending more time online than watching TV, spending on average three hours a day jacked into the matrix as opposed to 2.1 hours watching TV. Online time rises to five hours a day among 15 and 16 year olds.

Among those that watch any TV at all, Netflix was found to be more popular than any traditional channel, with less than a quarter watching shows as they are broadcast. Favouring online catch-up services and YouTube, 32 per cent couldn't even name a favourite TV show. Of those that did have a favourite, only 2 per cent had even watched it in the last week. Not only then are kids watching TV their way, in their own time, but it seems the convenience of on-demand and web video has made them far less loyal to any one show than programme producers would like to hear.

"TV viewing has been redefined," said Simon Leggett, research director at Childwise.

"Growing access to the internet at any time and in any place, and a blurring of television content across channels and devices, brings a landmark change in behaviour this year.

"Children are now seeking out the content of their choice. They still find traditional TV programmes engaging but are increasingly watching them online and on-demand or binge watching box sets."

If there's one area of OG TV viewing that seems safe however, that's the television set itself. Though tablet ownership in youngsters continues to rise (now at 67 per cent, according to the study), there's still a preference for watching shows on the biggest screen in the house – even if it has to be dusted off after marathon Minecraft sessions. [BBC]

Image Credit: Kid sitting with sadness and sick from tv addict need love from parent black and white from Shutterstock