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Teens' and Tweens' Technology Usage - UK - May 2013

“Brands need to ensure that children, who are less likely to have a credit or debit card, are able to access and enjoy the benefits associated with e-commerce. Physical gift cards are the primary vehicle used by children for adding the funds needed to purchase apps or digital content such as music and video and brands need to shift consumer perceptions away from gift cards being presents and towards them being a regular consumer purchase, lest they risk not being able to capitalise on the consumption habits of children.”

– Harry Segal, Research Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How can brands address concern over the health risk posed by using technology devices?
  • How will the changing role of consoles affect parental concerns?
  • How will the shift towards digital delivery affect the youth market?
  • How can brands use children to gain traction among older consumers?

Usage of technology among 10-15-year-olds is high across a range of devices including laptops (78%), static gaming consoles (77%), smartphones (66%) and tablets (45%), with some 45% of children owning their own smartphone.

Increasing technology usage and internet connectivity among minors provides brands with a wealth of opportunities but also presents a number of obstacles – the shift from hardcopy to digitally delivered content, the rise of freemium games and micro-transactions, the changing role of gaming consoles towards versatile entertainment devices and the more prominent role of digital consumption in company business models all need to be carefully handled by brands that market to 10-15-year-olds.

This report examines the use of, and attitudes towards, technology devices and services by 10-15-year-olds. This includes smartphones, tablets, static gaming consoles, portable gaming consoles, internet-connected smart televisions, computers, games and social networks. This report also examines the attitudes and concerns of parents towards the use of technology by children, their use of and attitudes towards parental controls and their purchasing decision-making process.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • Market factors
              • Hardware releases in 2013 set to reverse console sales downward trend
                • Figure 1: Value of gaming console and games software sales, 2007-12
              • Mobile phone sales increase 9% since 2007
                • Figure 2: Value of mobile phone sales, 2007-12
              • Tablet sales surge 54% in 2012 to £2.6 billion
                • Figure 3: Value of desktop, laptop and tablet computer sales, by device, 2007-12
              • Ownership of smartphones among children is increasing
                • Figure 4: Ownership of mobile phones/smartphones, by age of child, 2011 and 2012
              • Physical retailers remain the preferred method of purchasing video games
                • Figure 5: Methods of purchasing video games, 2011 and 2012
              • The consumer
                • Two thirds of 10-15-year-olds use a smartphone in the home
                  • Figure 6: Children’s technology use in the home, March 2013
                • Educational application is a key driver behind tech purchases for children
                  • Figure 7: Factors influencing purchasing decisions, March 2013
                • Strangers and explicit content are parents’ primary concerns
                  • Figure 8: Parental concerns, March 2013
                • Over half of parents trust their children to use devices unsupervised
                  • Figure 9: Behaviour and attitudes of parents, March 2013
                • Awareness of parental controls far outweighs usage
                  • Figure 10: Use of parental controls, by device, March 2013
                • Playing games is the most popular digital activity performed by children
                  • Figure 11: Activities performed by children on technology devices in the home, March 2013
                • 42% of children’s smartphones are Google Android, 20% are Apple
                  • Figure 12: Type of smartphone owned by child, March 2013
                • Gift cards are the primary vehicle for generating revenue from children
                  • Figure 13: Children’s smartphone behaviour, March 2013
                • Nintendo Wii has the highest penetration of any gaming console
                  • Figure 14: Type of gaming console(s) used in the home, March 2013
                • Indy revival and micro-transaction model to fuel digital delivery purchases
                  • Figure 15: Children’s gaming console behaviour, March 2013
                • A third of children acknowledge the possible health implications of gaming
                  • Figure 16: Children’s general gaming behaviour, March 2013
                • Social networks need to accommodate, rather than prohibit, child users
                  • Figure 17: Children’s general technology behaviour, March 2013
                • What we think
                • Issues in the Market

                    • How can brands address concern over the health risk posed by using technology devices?
                      • How will the changing role of consoles affect parental concerns?
                        • How will the shift towards digital delivery affect the youth market?
                          • How can brands use children to gain traction among older consumers?
                          • Trend Application

                              • Click and Connect
                                • Help Me Help Myself
                                  • Mintel Futures: Human
                                  • Market Background

                                    • Key points
                                      • Hardware releases in 2013 set to reverse console sales downward trend
                                        • Figure 18: Value of gaming console and games software sales, 2007-12
                                      • Mobile phone sales increase 9% since 2007
                                        • Figure 19: Value of mobile phone sales, 2007-12
                                      • Tablet sales surge 54% in 2012 to £2.6 billion
                                        • Figure 20: Value of desktop, laptop and tablet computer sales, by device, 2007-12
                                      • Ownership of smartphones among children is increasing
                                        • Figure 21: Ownership of mobile phones/smartphones, by age of child, 2011 and 2012
                                      • Gaming consoles move out from children’s bedrooms
                                        • Figure 22: Presence of a TV or gaming console in children’s bedrooms, by age of child, 2009-12
                                      • Internet access in the bedroom is largely the preserve of older children
                                        • Figure 23: Presence of technology devices/internet access in children’s bedrooms, by age of child, March 2012
                                      • Study shows children three clicks away from explicit material on YouTube
                                        • UK enforces PEGI video game ratings system
                                          • Physical retailers remain the preferred method of purchasing video games
                                            • Figure 24: Methods of purchasing video games, 2011 and 2012
                                          • Child safety online is attracting the attention of government
                                            • In-app spending by minors leads to Apple lawsuit and OFT investigation
                                              • Opt-in internet pornography filter rejected by UK government
                                                • CEOP partners with Facebook, Windows and Disney to encourage safety online
                                                  • Welsh government introduces social media safety lessons
                                                  • Who's Innovating?

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Digital pocket money account PKTMNY aims to promote cash management
                                                        • MiiPC designed from the ground up as a PC for children
                                                          • Microsoft Kid’s Corner set to wean children on to technology safely
                                                            • Google Play gift cards launch in UK, available from Tesco and Morrisons
                                                            • Case Studies – Parental Controls

                                                                • Smartphones and tablets
                                                                  • Apple iOS
                                                                    • Google Android
                                                                      • Microsoft Windows 8
                                                                        • Gaming consoles
                                                                          • Xbox 360
                                                                            • PlayStation 3
                                                                              • Nintendo Wii/Wii U
                                                                                • Mobile network providers
                                                                                  • O2
                                                                                    • Everything Everywhere (including Orange and T-Mobile)
                                                                                      • Vodafone
                                                                                        • Internet service providers
                                                                                          • TalkTalk
                                                                                            • BT
                                                                                              • Sky
                                                                                                • Virgin Media
                                                                                                  • Internet-connected smart TV
                                                                                                  • Children’s Technology Use in the Home

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Two thirds of 10-15-year-olds use a smartphone in the home
                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Children’s technology use in the home, March 2013
                                                                                                      • Age a barrier to trading up from a basic handset to a smartphone
                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Children’s smartphone, basic mobile phone and tablet use in the home, by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                      • Portable gaming console usage higher among younger children
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Children’s computer and gaming console use in the home, by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                    • Factors Influencing Purchasing Decisions

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Educational application is a key driver behind tech purchases for children
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Factors influencing purchasing decisions, March 2013
                                                                                                        • Parents fail to adjust their purchasing habits for the connected world
                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Factors influencing purchasing decisions, by device used by children, March 2013
                                                                                                        • Desire for parental controls declines with age of child
                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Factors influencing purchasing decisions, by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                      • Parental Concerns

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Strangers and explicit content are parents’ primary concerns
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Parental concerns, March 2013
                                                                                                          • Half of parents are concerned about cyber bullying
                                                                                                            • 10% of parents cite in-app spending as their primary concern
                                                                                                              • Concern over health risks provides opportunities for the industry
                                                                                                                • Concern over cyber bullying is failing to drive interest in parental controls
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Factors influencing purchasing decisions, by primary parental concern, March 2013
                                                                                                              • Behaviour of Parents

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Over half of parents trust their children to use devices unsupervised
                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Behaviour and attitudes of parents, March 2013
                                                                                                                  • Just 31% of parents use a password to prevent in-app purchases
                                                                                                                    • Only 10% of parents try out games or apps before their child
                                                                                                                      • Some 43% involve themselves in their child’s digital interests
                                                                                                                        • Trust and autonomy increase with the age of the child
                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Behaviour and attitudes of parents, by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Behaviour and attitudes of parents (continued), by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                        • A third of 15 year olds help their parents use technology devices
                                                                                                                          • Parents concerned over health risk lack the time to micromanage their child
                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Behaviour and attitudes of parents, by primary parental concern, March 2013
                                                                                                                        • Use of Parental Controls

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Awareness of parental controls far outweighs usage
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Use of parental controls, by device, March 2013
                                                                                                                            • Mobile networks could offer brand-specific opt-in content filters
                                                                                                                              • Just 56% of parents of 10 year olds use parental controls
                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Use of any parental controls, by age of children, March 2013
                                                                                                                              • Parental concerns have failed to translate into parental control usage
                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Use of any parental controls, by primary parental concern, March 2013
                                                                                                                            • Activities Performed by Children on Technology Devices

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Playing games is the most popular digital activity performed by children
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Activities performed by children on technology devices in the home, March 2013
                                                                                                                                • 21% of children stream video on their console, 14% browse the web
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Activities performed by children on technology devices in the home, by device, March 2013
                                                                                                                                • 15 year olds are twice as likely as 10 year olds to use social networks
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Activities performed by children on technology devices in the home, by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Activities performed by children on technology devices in the home (continued), by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                              • Children’s Smartphone Ownership

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • 42% of children’s smartphones are Google Android, 20% are Apple
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Type of smartphone owned by child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                  • 60% of children are on a smartphone contract
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Smartphone payment plan for smartphone owned by child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Smartphone payment plan, by type of smartphone owned, March 2013
                                                                                                                                • Children’s Smartphone Behaviour

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Just 12% of child smartphone owners pay their own bills
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Children’s smartphone behaviour, March 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Gift cards are the primary vehicle for generating revenue from children
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Children’s smartphone behaviour, by type of smartphone owned by child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                    • 14% of child iPhone users have made in-app purchases
                                                                                                                                    • Type of Gaming Consoles Used in the Home

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Nintendo Wii has the highest penetration of any gaming console
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Type of gaming console(s) used in the home, March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Wii penetration is highest among children aged 13 or under
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Type of gaming console(s) used in the home, by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Boys are more likely to have access to an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Type of gaming console(s) used in the home, by gender of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Children’s Gaming Console Behaviour

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Indy revival and micro-transaction model to fuel gift card penetration
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Children’s gaming console behaviour, March 2013
                                                                                                                                          • 26% of child users stream video on demand through their gaming console
                                                                                                                                            • Boys are twice as likely to play multiplayer games online
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Children’s gaming console behaviour, by gender of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Motion controllers have a higher penetration in large families
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Children’s gaming console behaviour, by number of child’s siblings, March 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Xbox 360 gift card usage fuelled by subscription model
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Children’s gaming console behaviour, by type of gaming console(s) in the home, March 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Children’s General Gaming Behaviour

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • A third of children acknowledge the possible health implications of gaming
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Children’s general gaming behaviour, March 2013
                                                                                                                                              • High demand for free demos provides scope for the shift to freemium
                                                                                                                                                • 30% of children only play games that their friends play
                                                                                                                                                  • Dynamic age ratings could cater to parental concern over game content
                                                                                                                                                  • Children’s General Technology Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Social networks need to accommodate, rather than prohibit, child users
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Children’s general technology behaviour, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Half of 15 year olds know more about the internet than their parents
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Children’s general technology behaviour, by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Children’s general technology behaviour (continued), by age of child, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Children’s Technology Use in the Home

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Children’s technology use in the home, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Children’s technology use in the home, by demographics, March 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Factors Influencing Purchasing Decisions

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Factors influencing purchasing decisions – any device, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Factors influencing purchasing decisions – smartphone, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Factors influencing purchasing decisions – tablet, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Factors influencing purchasing decisions – portable gaming console, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Factors influencing purchasing decisions – static gaming console, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Factors influencing purchasing decisions – laptop computer, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Factors influencing purchasing decisions – desktop computer, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Factors influencing purchasing decisions – internet-connected smart TV, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Parental Concerns

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Parental concerns, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Top ranked parental concerns, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Second ranked parental concerns, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Third ranked parental concerns, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Fourth ranked parental concerns, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Behaviour of Parents

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Behaviour and attitudes of parents, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Behaviour and attitudes of parents, by demographics, March 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Use of Parental Controls

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Use of parental controls, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Use of parental controls on the smartphone my child uses, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 79: Use of parental controls on the tablet my child uses, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 80: Use of parental controls on the portable console my child uses, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 81: Use of parental controls on the static gaming console my child uses, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 82: Use of parental controls on the desktop or laptop computer that my child uses, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 83: Use of parental controls on the internet-connected smart TV that my child uses, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 84: Use of network-wide parental controls, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 85: Use of parental controls from a mobile network provider, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Activities Performed by Children on Technology Devices

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 86: Most popular activities performed by children on technology devices in the home, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 87: Next most popular activities performed by children on technology devices in the home, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 88: Most popular activities performed by children on a smartphone, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 89: Next most popular activities performed by children on a smartphone, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 90: Most popular activities performed by children on a tablet, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 91: Next most popular activities performed by children on a tablet, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 92: Most popular activities performed by children on a portable gaming console, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 93: Next most popular activities performed by children on a portable gaming console, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 94: Most popular activities performed by children on a static gaming console, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 95: Next most popular activities performed by children on a static gaming console, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 96: Most popular activities performed by children on a laptop or desktop computer, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 97: Next most popular activities performed by children on a laptop or desktop computer, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 98: Most popular activities performed by children on an internet-connected smart TV, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 99: Next most popular activities performed by children on an internet-connected smart TV, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Children’s Smartphone Ownership

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 100: Type of smartphone owned, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 101: Smartphone payment plan, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Children’s Smartphone Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 102: Smartphone behaviour, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Type of Gaming Console Used in the Home

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 103: Type of gaming console(s) in the home, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Children’s Gaming Console Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 104: Gaming console behaviour, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 105: Gaming console behaviour, by demographics, March 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Children’s General Gaming Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 106: General gaming behaviour, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 107: General gaming behaviour, by demographics, March 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Children’s General Technology Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 108: General technology behaviour, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 109: General technology behaviour, by demographics, March 2013 (continued)

                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                    • Apple Retail UK
                                                                                                                                                    • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                    • Everything Everywhere Ltd (Retail)
                                                                                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                    • Google UK
                                                                                                                                                    • McAfee
                                                                                                                                                    • Microsoft Ltd (UK)
                                                                                                                                                    • Netflix, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                    • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                                                                                    • O2 / Telefonica UK (Retail)
                                                                                                                                                    • Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                    • TalkTalk Telecom Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                    • Telegraph Group Limited
                                                                                                                                                    • Tesco (UK)
                                                                                                                                                    • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                    • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)

                                                                                                                                                    Teens' and Tweens' Technology Usage - UK - May 2013

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