Children increasingly turning into online video header image

Published: 27th Nov 2014

Watching video content online is becoming increasingly popular among the UK's children.

A new study from Ofcom has revealed kids are now viewing less live TV than adults, but are instead watching more videos over the internet.

Children aged between 11 and 15 typically tune into one hour and 32 minutes of live TV each day, compared to two hours and 58 minutes for adults. 

However, youngsters spend an average of 33 minutes per day watching clips on websites such as YouTube and Vimeo, as opposed to just five minutes for adults. Close to half (45 per cent) of 11 to 15-year-olds view online videos every day, compared to only 20 per cent of adults. 

Web-based videos account for 19 per cent of kids' overall viewing time, while the figure is just two per cent for adults. 

When it comes to watching services such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD, habits are very similar with children and adults typically tuning into 13 minutes and 12 minutes per day respectively. However, 38 per cent of adults use these sites every week, compared to 26 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds. 

Ofcom also found children are more likely to listen to music online than adults. Some 19 per cent of kids stream music over the net each week, compared to 13 per cent of adults. More than one in five (22 per cent) youngsters watch music videos, while the figure is 11 per cent for adults. 

Overall, 54 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds' music listening time is spent on digital music.

The Ofcom study revealed the popularity of social media and instant messaging means many children are communicating via phone less than their adult counterparts. Some 47 per cent of kids contact others through social networks, compared to 25 per cent who use the phone. 

In total, 56 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds' communication time is spent on text messages, instant messages and photo messages.