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Teens' and Tweens' Technology Usage - UK - July 2016

“The rapid success of Snapchat with teens/tweens highlights that for young people it is the ability to create and communicate in innovative, fun new ways that is at the heart of their interest in social media. New social media features, from livestreaming to creating short music videos, are being introduced in the hope of similarly capturing the attention and imagination of the influential age-group”.

– Rebecca McGrath, Media Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Social media opportunities and concerns
  • Music listening habits

The technology habits of the influential teen/tween demographic continue to evolve. The smartphone is now the clear centrepiece of teens/tweens’ media lives, from their use of social media to how they listen to music. In terms of their viewing habits, there is also a clear transition away from the traditional TV model towards streaming services and online videos.

Despite age-restrictions most teens/tweens are avid social media users. In contrast to adults where Facebook is the dominant network, YouTube is the most used social media network among teens/tweens. Snapchat is also an increasingly popular and important platform for the demographic which advertisers are now trying to capitalise upon.

Parents’ fears regarding their children’s use of technology are numerous and the majority of parents opt to closely monitor their children’s online behaviour; an option now readily provided by many media and tech companies. This, however, raises a debate regarding the age at which a child has a right to higher levels of privacy online.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel’s definition of ‘technology’ includes smartphones, tablets, static games consoles, portable games consoles, e-readers, internet-connected smart televisions, desktop and laptop computers, gaming, social networking and any form of digital media consumption.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • 12-15-year-olds spend more time online than watching TV
              • Figure 1: Estimated weekly hours of media consumption at home or elsewhere, by age, 2015
            • New EU social media policy to be introduced
              • The government enforces age ratings on music videos
                • Key players
                  • New social media apps look to appeal to teens/tweens through creative messaging
                    • Streaming services create more teen/tween focused content
                      • Windows 10 update automatically enables parents to monitor activity
                        • The consumer
                          • The smartphone overtakes the laptop as most popular device
                            • Figure 2: Device use, May 2016
                          • Most parents monitor online behaviour
                            • Figure 3: Parents’ behaviour, May 2016
                          • “Stranger danger” and inappropriate content are greatest social media concerns
                            • Figure 4: Social Media concerns, May 2016
                          • Nearly half consider streaming preferable to live TV
                            • Figure 5: Viewing habits, May 2016
                          • Older children use music streaming services
                            • Figure 6: Music behaviour, May 2016
                          • YouTube is the most popular social media network
                            • Figure 7: Social media use, May 2016
                          • Tween-only networks still have great potential
                            • Figure 8: Interest in social media networks, May 2016
                          • Social media is a powerful tool for brands to reach teens/tweens
                            • Figure 9: Social media behaviour, May 2016
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Social media opportunities and concerns
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Music listening habits
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • 12-15-year-olds spend more time online than watching TV
                                          • Most feel tablets can be useful tools for children
                                            • Further measures taken to help keep children safe at school
                                              • New EU social media legislation
                                                • Many child abuse cases have online links
                                                  • The government enforces age ratings on music videos
                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                    • 12-15-year-olds spend more time online than watching TV
                                                      • Figure 10: Estimated weekly hours of media consumption at home or elsewhere, by age, 2015
                                                    • Parents feel tablets can be useful tools for children
                                                      • Figure 11: Attitudes towards tablets, September 2015
                                                    • Many child abuse cases have online links
                                                      • New measures taken to help keep children safe at school
                                                        • New EU social media policy to be introduced
                                                          • The government enforces age ratings on music videos
                                                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                            • New social media apps look to appeal to teens/tweens through creative messaging
                                                              • Streaming services create more teen/tween focused content
                                                                • Windows 10 update automatically enables parents to monitor activity
                                                                  • New attempts being made to tackle cyber-bullying
                                                                    • Friendship smart bracelet targets teens
                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                      • Apps look to appeal to teens/tweens with new types of messaging
                                                                        • Musical.ly is an explosive new social media app
                                                                          • Snapchat acquires Bitmoji
                                                                            • New messaging app Rawr explores 3D avatars
                                                                              • Wishbone app skyrockets in popularity with teens/tweens
                                                                                • More online video content being created for teens/tweens
                                                                                  • New tween series Project MC2 produced by Netflix
                                                                                    • YouTube Red puts teens/tweens at heart of original content
                                                                                      • AT&T launches subscription service aimed at young adults
                                                                                        • E10p app alerts parents about their child’s whereabouts
                                                                                          • New attempts being made to tackle cyber-bullying
                                                                                            • App helps parents prevent cyber-bullying
                                                                                              • ReThink app looks to help children reconsider posts
                                                                                                • Vodafone and Snapchat look to encourage bullied children
                                                                                                  • Windows 10 update lets parents monitor activity
                                                                                                    • Friendship smart bracelet targets teens
                                                                                                      • New Harman headphones enable parents to turn down the music
                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                        • The smartphone overtakes the laptop as most popular device
                                                                                                          • Parents are monitoring and limiting their child’s online activities
                                                                                                            • Interacting with unknown adults is greatest social media concern
                                                                                                              • Online videos are preferred to TV
                                                                                                                • The smartphone is primary device for music listening
                                                                                                                  • YouTube is the most popular social media network
                                                                                                                    • Girls are heaviest social media users
                                                                                                                      • Teens/tweens are interested in kid only social media
                                                                                                                      • Device Use

                                                                                                                        • Smartphone overtakes laptop as most popular device
                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Device use, May 2016
                                                                                                                          • Boys are far more likely to use static games consoles
                                                                                                                            • Figure 13: Device use, by gender of child, May 2016
                                                                                                                        • Parents’ Behaviour

                                                                                                                          • Parents are monitoring their children’s online habits
                                                                                                                            • Figure 14: Parents’ behaviour, May 2016
                                                                                                                          • Younger parents are more likely to monitor their child
                                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Parents’ behaviour, by age of parent, May 2016
                                                                                                                          • Nearly a fifth of parents follow their child with GPS
                                                                                                                          • Social Media Concerns

                                                                                                                            • Stranger danger and inappropriate content are greatest social media concerns
                                                                                                                              • Bullying is also a major concern
                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Social media concerns, May 2016
                                                                                                                            • Technology Behaviour

                                                                                                                              • Most use their smartphone to access social media
                                                                                                                                • Mobile gaming continues to evolve
                                                                                                                                  • Many are watching TV on mobile devices
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Activities performed on each device, May 2016
                                                                                                                                • Music Behaviour

                                                                                                                                  • The smartphone is the primary music device for teens/tweens
                                                                                                                                    • CDs not dead yet even among teens/tweens
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Music behaviour, May 2016
                                                                                                                                    • Older children use music streaming services
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Use a music streaming service, by age of child, May 2016
                                                                                                                                  • Viewing Habits

                                                                                                                                    • Kids prefer online videos to TV
                                                                                                                                      • Most teens/tweens are not watching adverts
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Viewing habits, May 2016
                                                                                                                                      • Many have a preference for streaming over live TV
                                                                                                                                        • Age of parents impacts viewing habits
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Viewing habits – answered yes to following questions, by age of parent, May 2016
                                                                                                                                      • Social Media Use

                                                                                                                                        • YouTube is the most popular social media network
                                                                                                                                          • Snapchat has become a key platform
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Social media use, May 2016
                                                                                                                                          • Social networks are used more by older children
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Social media use, by age of child, May 2016
                                                                                                                                          • Girls are more likely to use image based networks
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Social media use, by gender of child, May 2016
                                                                                                                                          • YouTube is also the favourite network
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Favourite social media networks, May 2016
                                                                                                                                        • Social Media Interest

                                                                                                                                          • Tween only networks have great potential
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Interest in social media networks, May 2016
                                                                                                                                          • School based social networks appeal to younger children
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Interest in social media networks, by age of child, May 2016
                                                                                                                                          • Interest-based networks appeal more to boys
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Interest in social media networks, by gender of child, May 2016
                                                                                                                                        • Social Media Behaviour

                                                                                                                                          • Social media can perform key role for brands targeting teens/tweens
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Social media behaviour, May 2016
                                                                                                                                          • Livestreaming takes off
                                                                                                                                            • Girls and older children are more likely to follow a celebrity
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Has followed a celebrity on social media, by age of child, May 2016
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Has followed a celebrity on social media, by gender of child, May 2016
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                Teens' and Tweens' Technology Usage - UK - July 2016

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