The range of media offered by streaming services and apps is growing. But how do children consume media? The “Children’s Media Monitor 2020” study offers not only clarity, but also an interesting insight into children’s communication behavior and media consumption. Among other things, the study deals with children’s awareness of the brand and how parents react to these desires for the brand. The study provides a high reach of 24 representative print magazines and shows which medium is used for particularly powerful communication, how analog and digital media use differs, and how parents engage with children’s media use. In the study, five renowned publishing houses that, among other things, publish children’s media, examined the extensive media and communication behavior of 7.38 million German-speaking children aged 4-13. The study provided exciting insights into media consumption among children. Image source: © kontrastwerkstatt for stock.adobe.com
Media consumption among children: How is content consumed?
Almost all children prefer audiovisual content when it comes to media. Radio programs, audio books, and radio plays are at least as popular as movies, series, and television programs. However, reading is not so unpopular either. Almost 77% use print media for entertainment. It is particularly interesting that younger children’s media consumption of TV shows and magazines is relatively flexible and spontaneous. A large part primarily uses the current program or spontaneously accesses printed media. However, as children get older, they seek out and consume their media content in a much more targeted way, as interest in digital services such as Spotify, streaming services, Audible and YouTube increases. Despite digitization and the great interest in the use of applications, the CD is still a very popular medium. Books, texts and magazines are also still consumed in the traditional paper way.
Media acceptance of parents
Parents trust magazines above all else!
Most parents trust magazines because they believe that reading brings several positive qualities and is a particularly good influence on their children. They feel that their child not only learns, but also repeats the content better, stimulates their imagination and creativity, and can absorb the content at their own pace. More than half of parents see a positive benefit in this, as the content seems more credible than in other media and in their eyes the right values are conveyed here.
Similarly, most parents seem to be very interested in watching their children’s print media. The younger the children, the greater the parents’ interest in consuming media content. Almost all of the 5.6 million parents of 4-5-year-olds surveyed engage with print media content and read together. 74% for 6-9 year olds and just over half for 10-13 year olds at 66%. The older children are, the greater their interest in magazines conveying knowledge, such as “geo” or “time”.
How children communicate
The Internet offers a variety of communication channels and applications. However, from today’s options via Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, to voice messages and text messages, all children prefer face-to-face conversations over the phone or face-to-face exchanges. The applications themselves are rarely used by children as a means of communication. However, WhatsApp is clearly ahead when it comes to in-app communication. 81% of 10-13 year olds use WhatsApp as a means of communication to send voice and text messages. Sending voice and text messages is especially unpopular with children between the ages of 6 and 9.
Brand Awareness and Brand Desires in Children
Who would have thought: Brands are important to children! And most of the wishes of the brand are also fulfilled by parents. When it comes to sports shoes, bags and satchels, clothing, mobile phones, toys and food, the brand is especially important for children.
Media consumption among children: How are media used?
Children’s media use behavior is as diverse as the range of media available. In the “Medien Monitor 2020” study, the types of media use were divided into 4 categories.
- Multinationals, classics, bookies and streamers.
The greatest use of media is represented by “classics” with 45%, they represent children of all age groups and households and consume mainly current programming. They represent children of all ages and from all households. Your focus when consuming media TV and radio programs. People read almost exclusively from paper and communicate in the traditional way by telephone. They are the only group that still shows interest in sending a postcard or letter. They also use digital apps and channels to connect with friends, but far below average.
With 22%, the cautious are the second largest group and with an average age of almost 9 years, the youngest group of types of media use, television and magazines are particularly popular. Her modesty and reservedness also translates into brand awareness. Their parents often have low media acceptance and prefer print media such as magazines for their children. Most dedicated media types come from low-income households with below-average levels of education.
The fourth and smallest group of media use types are vaporizers. Their average age is 11, which makes them the oldest target group. This type of media is found in all educational levels and households. They like current TV programming but focus on streaming and video services. As much as they love audiovisual technology, they dislike print media and reading. Their passion for the digital world is reflected in their communication behavior as they use almost all digital communication channels and applications to exchange ideas and chat. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as even their parents show a relatively high level of interest and trust in digital media and usually fulfill all their children’s brand wishes, from gaming consoles to mobile phones.
The complete study and its supporting publishers can be found on the website Children Media Monitor 2020
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