US: Online winning over TV for kids

New study finds that the internet is encroaching more and more into children's TV viewing habits.
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According to a study by research firm Grunwald Associates, TV is no longer capturing the undivided attention of kids in the US.

The Kids' Social Networking Study found that internet activity is becoming a growing factor in what children choose to watch and 64 per cent of kids go online while watching TV.

Nearly half of teens (49 per cent) said that they go online frequently while watching TV.

In addition, 47 per cent said they focus their attention primarily online while multi-tasking between TV and the internet, and 42 per cent said they focus on TV and online activities equally. Just 11 per cent said that TV held their primary attention while multi-tasking.

"Active multi-tasking and social networking present a tremendous opportunity to inform, engage and empower kids more deeply than ever before," said Grunwald Associates founder Peter Grunwald. "At the same time, it's important for commercial efforts to be credible and respect kids' intelligence - and the content they product. Kids are using social networking tools to create personal content and share their opinions with great speed, passion and influence."

The study - reported on World Screen - is made up of three parallel surveys conducted in the US: and online survey of 1,277 nine to 17 year-olds, an online survey of 1,039 parents and telephone interviews with 250 district leaders who make decisions on internet policy.

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