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Tablets replace TVs as youngsters habits change

16 October 2014 - 09:39 by Simon Crisp

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A new report from communications industry regulator, Ofcom, has found that television sets are beginning to disappear from children’s bedrooms, only to be replaced by tablet devices that are influencing the way a new generation engages with the world.

Thirty four per cent of kids under the age of 15 in the UK now have their very own tablet computer to use, which can be harnessed for everything from watching TV and playing games to carrying out safe shopping online.

Overall, 42 per cent of children access the internet predominantly through a tablet device, suggesting that it is not just TVs that are being replaced but desktop and laptop computers as well.

Amazingly, one in 10 kids aged between 3 and 4 owns a tablet, which shows that they are being introduced to this technology almost as soon as they can walk and talk, perhaps even before they can read.

Meanwhile the decline in TVs based in kids’ bedrooms has been significant in the past five years, dropping from 66 per cent in 2009 to just 46 per cent in 2014, according to Econsultancy.

For advertisers and retailers, this means that a very susceptible target audience is moving elsewhere and consuming media in a different way from that of the past.

This also means that ads and services offering safe shopping online can engage more directly with children when they are housed on the web and accessed through a tablet. About a fifth of youngsters in the UK now watch TV on a tablet, while a third rely on catch up services available from their set top box.

While the implications of these shifting habits may take some time to filter through and have an impact on the e-commerce market, it seems inevitable that the tablet takeover will be very influential.