New research shows first drop in kids’ traditional TV viewing

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A study released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that for the first time, kids ages 8 to 18 spent less time watching regularly scheduled TV. That daily total is three hours, 51 minutes, a 25-minute drop from 2004. Now they spend an average of seven hours, 38 minutes per day on all entertainment media. But all those new ways to watch TV — such as the Internet, cell phones and iPods — actually increased total daily TV viewing to four and a half hours per day, including 24 minutes of online viewing, 16 minutes on iPods and other MP3 players, and 15 minutes on cell phones. That means that 59 percent of young people’s TV viewing is on a TV set, and 41 percent is time-shifted, DVDs, online or mobile. The foundation also noted that because kids spend so much time “media multitasking” (using more than one medium simultaneously) that they actually pack 10 hours and 45 minutes into that seven-hour-plus daily figure. The study (PDF) was presented at the forum “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-year-olds” today in Washington.

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