The NPD Group, which also tracks the monthly video game industry sales data in North America, has released findings from an online survey titled Kids & Digital Content, which found that children as young as 2 years old are playing video games and downloading digital content.
The survey, which was completed by U.S. parents, found that children have become increasingly in tune with technology, as children between the ages of 2 and 14 are downloading games and watching downloaded and streaming content over the internet through computers and other personal electronics.
Specifically, respondents reported that children spend an average of 44 minutes per sitting playing video games, and nearly the same amount of time listening to downloaded music on portable electronics. In addition, the report found that 15 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old are using cell phones, while the percentage jumps to 62 percent when looking at those children between 11 and 14 years old.
Looking to downloaded content, the NPD survey found that more than 1 in 10 children have downloaded some form of digital content by the time they are 7 years old, while 22 percent of 10 year olds and 50 percent of 14 year olds have download content of some kind. 75 percent of those children with internet access make use of it, while nearly half of those users are using the internet without any assistance. A third of the children reported by the survey access the internet with their parents or someone else.
The survey also found that 87 percent of video game players pay for content, as do 70 percent of users of portable music players. In addition, 55 percent of computer users and 67 percent of cell phone users also pay for content, according to the report.
"Without a doubt, kids are digital content natives, seamlessly navigating between traditional and digital sources of media without missing a step," commented industry analyst Anita Frazier. "To kids, there is nothing new or novel about digital sources of entertainment. The real challenge for marketers is to be one step ahead of their competition, providing the content and technology kids crave."