A recent study from market research company Childwise has found that British preschoolers are now watching more online video than ever before, with three quarters of under-fives having access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.
More than 1,000 UK parents were asked about their preschooler’s media viewing habits. Three out of four children under five-years-old had access to a connected device, while most of the three- and four-year-olds had their own tablet or computer*.
Overall, the study indicated that children were typically spending an average of two hours and 48 minutes a day (up from two hours and 36 minutes in 2017) watching some form of video content.
Voice-recognition gadgets are also increasingly popular with this age group. Common uses for these devices include requesting nursery rhymes and asking questions such as “How big is the moon?”.
The children’s favourite online channel was the BBC’s Cbeebies, with YouTube named as the most popular app.
“The increasing use of connected devices by preschoolers this year may reflect growing access to on-demand services, especially subscription-based options such as Netflix, which has quickly risen through the ranks over the last three to four years,” said Childwise research manager Jenny Ehren.
“Their list of favourite programmes is becoming more varied,” she continued. “And while many are drawn from across the different preschool channels, we are beginning to see more references to content exclusively available on YouTube and paid-for streaming services.”
*Ofcom research in 2017 found that 21% of three- to four-year-olds owned their own tablet.