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Teens’ Time Spent Online Grew 37% Since 2012, Outpacing Other Age Groups

Insights from GfK’s MultiMedia Mentor® show that teenagers’ Internet use is growing faster than that of any other key age group, abetted by a variety of devices – smartphones, tablets, videogame consoles, and connected TVs. Time spent online by teens (ages 13 to 17) rose 37%, to just over 4 hours per day, compared to the beginning of 2012; by contrast, online minutes remained essentially flat for those aged 18 to 64, 18 to 54, and even 18 to 49.

The teens’ increases were driven by huge leaps in their time spent online via tablets (up 157%, to over a half hour daily), smartphones (up 72%, to over an hour a day), and even connected TVs (up 86%, to 13 minutes daily).

The new findings are supported by research from GfK’s The Home Technology Monitor™, which indicates that smartphone ownership among the 13-to-17 group jumped 70%, from 35% to 55%, in just the past year. Teen tablet ownership doubled, from 18% to 37%, in the same timeframe.

“Teens are not only accessing the Internet more – they are also leading the way in using it via different platforms,” said Robert DeFelice, Vice President on GfK’s Media and Entertainment team. “Technologies like smartphones and tablets, which may have been too pricey for pre-adults 10 to 15 years ago, are now widely owned and accepted. And teenagers use these products for a broad spectrum of tasks – streaming video, purchasing and listening to music, and all kinds of shopping. But one shouldn’t discount PC use among teens; it remains a major factor in time spent with the Internet.”

MultiMedia Mentor® tracks time spent online for eight key media, as well as a variety of demographic information. The Spring 2013 data was collected in interviews with 2,642 members of KnowledgePanel®, the only commercially available online panel derived from a statistically projectable sample of the U.S. population. Interviewing for this latest wave of Mentor data was conducted between February and July 2013 with panel members ages 13 to 64.

The Home Technology Monitor™ tracks ownership and use of dozens of consumer media devices and services, from videogame consoles to DVRs. The data on technology ownership by teens came from its How People Use® Media: Over-the-Top TV report.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.

To find out more, visit www.gfk.com/us or follow GfK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GfK_en.

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