Back in the “good old days,” children watched a lot of television and occasionally took part in video games. But these days, the times are certainly a-changing.
According to Business News Daily, this generation of kids have taken more of a focus to gaming than to television. A recently report from consumer market research company Interpret indicates that U.S. kids ages 6 through 12 generated a whopping $2 billion in game revenue for the whole year of 2013. The report was conducted with help from the Digital Kids Summit, which helps brand owners, game developers, marketers, producers and professionals to find ways to engage kids online, as well as through digital devices.
In addition, over 12.8 million kids in the United States own a smart toy of some sort, and usually spend around 12.1 hours per week playing games. Out of that time, a fourth, around 3.2 hours, is spent gaming on either smartphones or tablets.
The parents of the average gamer around the ages of 6 to 12 manage to spend around $29.40 a month, including around a tenth of that ($2.60) on mobile gaming apps and in-game purchases.
YouthBeat also had its own report, showing that 83 percent of kids in the age bracket of 6-13 use and download apps, while 71 percent of parents download apps for them.
Kids also spend a lot of time online, around 1.3 hours per weekday, and 1.9 hours on the weekend.
So why the sudden change in interest from television to gaming Well, it isn’t quite as sudden as you may think, as TechCrunch noted a number of reasons behind it, such as kids and “tweens” growing into digital natives with accessibility to mobile devices, and the ease of use for both kids and their parents. In addition, long-term brand loyalty can be of importance to marketers, as kids are “extremely influential” to household spending, according to a third of parents surveyed.
Protection also plays a key part, as ad inventory for games like these have to be compliant with both the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit. However, as expected, most companies are following these, so it appears that everyone wins. (Well, maybe not television.)
Indeed, gaming – particularly mobile gaming – appear to be playing a big part in kids’ lives, and that trend isn’t likely to change anytime soon.