N.B. the census covers 2,600 young people, a nationally (US) representative sample, and defines tweens as 8 to 12 year olds, and teens as 13 to 18 year olds. Screen and non-screen media are included.

The ‘Gamers’ and the ‘Social Networkers’

The census results have broadly defined five types of teen media consumers.

What’s interesting here is the fluctuation in social media usage between each profile, with social networking trailing music and video consumption, except within the 10% profiled as ‘social networkers’.

The extent of video and TV consumption by over a quarter of teens (the heavy viewers) is perhaps the most striking part of this chart. The next figure looks at how this video and TV is consumed.

teen media profiles

TV and video by platform

Online video represents 22% of teen video consumption, with the smartphone the favoured device.

The broadcast TV platform does include connected TV (e.g. Netflix watched through a set), so this is perhaps slightly misleading.

DVDs are still hanging in there with 7% but it would be interesting to see how this is split across the age group.

teen media platforms

Content consumption, communication or creation

Although content creation represents only 3% of device usage (more on that in the next chart), it’s interesting to see passive consumption as well below half of activity (39%).

Communication here includes social networking, with interactive consumption chiefly gaming.

type of media use by teens 

Digital creation is encouraging

Despite the 3% stat for creation on computer, tablet and smartphone, the chart below shows percentage of teens that profess to different types of content creation.

The 19% that create digital art and 10% that code may have profound implications for the improvement of functional skills in the workforce.

content creation by teens

The smartphone is way out in front

The last chart I’ve included gives a straightforward split of average time with each device.

Among teens, average time spent on smartphone is over an hour more than the second-placed device (and 8x that spent looking at print). 

time spent with each device - teens

For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           

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