Online Video Usage Up Among Teens

Teen girl watching video on a mobile device

A new survey from Common Sense Media has found an uptick in media usage among tweens and teens, ages 8-18, and further highlights how the next generation is looking to embrace and continue the digital lifestyle. The organization, which promotes safe media usage for children, has been collecting this information since 2003 and comparisons to previous years help to measure and predict trends in children’s online behavior.

Key findings include:

More than twice as many young people are watching online video everyday in 2019 than they did in 2015. This goes for two age groups:

Increase in Teen Online Video Usage, 2015 – 2019

  • Among 8 to 12-year-olds: 24% – 56%
  • Among 13 to 18-year-olds: 34% – 69%

Online video watching is dominant among this group, with 67% reporting that they “enjoy it a lot.” In comparison, four years ago this activity came in fifth in enjoyment among teens, and currently it comes in second behind listening to music and ahead of video games, TV, and social media.

Other good news is that both tweens and teens reported using computers for homework everyday much more than they did in 2015:

Increase in Teen Computer Usage for Homework, 2015 – 2019

  • Among 8 to 12-year-olds: 11% – 27%
  • Among 13 to 18-year-olds: 29% – 59%

Chart from CommonSense Media on Teen Video Use.

Important to note is that America’s youth need guidance on how to navigate the ever-evolving digital world. There are a number of resources out there for parents on how to empower their families in regards to their media usage and online behavior. Internet Service Providers (or ISPs) also offer many security products to keep their customers safe online, but they also offer tips and tutorials on how to help kids be wary of online dangers, and on ways to maintain a positive reputation online. The FAM (Family and Media) site also aims to help families manage their internet and television usage and hosts a video series and a wealth of information on online safety.

The younger generations will dictate the future of the digital era, which is why members of our community are hard at work preparing networks to be able to handle the kind of data and advanced technologies that consumers currently, and in the future, will demand. With more people in the same household consuming online videos, video gaming, downloading school-related work online, or using emerging technologies such as virtual reality or augmented reality, the ultra-fast and robust 10G networks that America’s ISPs are building will only enable the rich and entertaining experiences that the upcoming generation craves.