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BizReport : Internet : October 05, 2011

NPD Group: Children acquiring more entertainment content via digital

New research from market research firm NPD Group shows that the amount spent by children on digital video games has increased over the last two years as their retail spending slows.

by Helen Leggatt

The Kids and Entertainment Content report reveals the split between retail and digital spending for children (age 2 - 14). Last year 85% of spending was via retail channels while 15% went on digital and downloads. This year that split has changed to reflect an increased use of digital content - 79% retail vs. 21% digital.

Anita Frazier, industry analyst for The NPD Group, explains why children are shifting from retail to digital content. "Kids are not skittish to use technology that is available to them," she said, "and the convenience and instant gratification afforded by downloading content is alluring to them."

While music and movies are what the majority of children spend out on, video games have seen the largest growth rising 17% in the last two years compared to 14% for music and 13% for movies.

"The ease and short downloading times associated with music downloads means that this is often the gateway activity to downloading for kids," said Frazier, "but the large increase in digital games acquisition over the last two years points to how this is becoming a more mainstream way of acquisition across all types of entertainment content."

NPD Group's research also backs up other company's findings that show technology in the hands of increasingly younger users. Earlier this year a survey from Parenting Group, the publisher of Parenting, Babytalk, and the BlogHer network found that children as young as 2 years old were getting their hands on their parents' technology.

Almost 3 in 10 Gen X moms had allowed their 2 years olds to use their laptop, rising to 34% among Gen Y moms. Similarly, 33% of Gen Y moms had allowed their children to use their smartphone by age 2 compared with just 20% of Gen X moms.

Tags: child behavior, content consumption, digital content, Internet, technology use, video games

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