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Mobile Overtakes TV As Teen 'Must Have'

For the first time 12 to 15-year-olds say they would miss their mobile (28%) and the Internet (25%) more than TV (18%), according to new Ofcom research.
The broadcast regulator said they are also watching more TV than ever before, with viewing figures increasing by 2 hours since 2007. In 2010 children aged 4-15 watched an average of 17 hours and 34 minutes of TV per week, compared with 15 hours and 37 minutes in 2007.
Nearly one third (31%) of children aged 5-15 who use the Internet at home are watching TV via an online catch-up service on their PC/laptop, such as the BBC iPlayer or ITV Player.
Ofcom's research also revealed that more than nine out of ten (95%) 12-15 year olds now have Internet access at home through a PC or laptop, up from 89% in 2010 and 77% in 2007.
Social networking is still one of the most popular uses of the internet amongst 12-15s, although the number of children with social networking profiles has stayed static since 2010 at 3% of 5-7s who use the internet at home, 28% of 8-11s and 75% of 12-15s.
However, children are visiting social network sites more often on their mobiles, driven by the increase in smart phone ownership. Half of 12-15s with a smartphone visit them weekly compared with 33% in 2010.
Among 5-7s, almost half (48%) say that television is the medium they would miss the most, compared to 25% naming playing computer/video games, and less than one in ten naming either the internet (7%) or mobile phones (1%). The research shows that 95% of this age group watch TV almost every day, compared to 43% using the Internet, and 7% using a mobile phone.
Analysis of children's television viewing habits sourced from BARB, the UK's television measurement panel. On 1 January 2010 the new BARB measurement panel of 5,100 homes went live.
Ofcom's media literacy tracker carried out 1,717 in-home interviews with parents and children aged 5-15 in March and April 2011.
The report also contains BARB and Nielsen data, as well as additional research conducted by Ofcom in July 2011 in-home among 1,054 parents of children aged 0-17 and via an online omnibus survey among 768 12-17 year olds.
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