Media and Technology Institute Stats and Studies – November 4, 2013

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released revised guidance for parents, pediatricians and teachers on managing children’s and adolescents’ media use. AAP advises parents to “model effective ‘media diets’ to help their children learn to be selective and healthy in what they consume,” to implement media “curfews” during dinner and after bedtime and to limit screen time to less than one or two hours per day for both small children and adolescents and discouraging screen media exposure for children under 2. The guidelines also include recommendations for pediatricians to ask questions regarding media consumption during well-child visits, work more closely with schools to teach media literacy and develop an “ongoing mechanism to fund research about media’s effects.”

Common Sense Media also released the second in a series of national surveys on children’s media use. Among the report’s findings, “children’s access to mobile devices is dramatically higher than it was two years ago.” Sixty-three percent of children between the ages of 0 and 8 now have a smartphone in the home compared to 41% in 2011. Forty percent have a tablet, compared to just 8% in 2011. However, a large gap continues to persist between rich and poor children in access to mobile media devices and applications, with 20% of lower-income children now having access to a tablet at home compared to 63% of higher-income children. Just 46% of lower-income families surveyed have access to high speed internet at home, compared to 86% of higher-income families. Children’s time spent using “traditional” media (i.e. TV, video games and computers) declined by more than a half hour per day. Further, while TV continues to dominate as the medium of choice for children, with 58% watching it at least once a day, more than a third of their TV time is spent watching time-shifted (DVR, streamed or downloaded) content.

Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen reported that the company’s Internet Essentials program for low-income homes has connected more than 1 million Americans and 250,000 families. Cohen noted, “to put that in perspective, that’s more than the entire population of a city like San Francisco or a state like Delaware or Montana.” On Wednesday, Comcast released its 3Q13 earnings report showing a 2.4% decrease in revenue but 30% increase in free cash flow to $2.0 billion. The company attributes the decline in revenue to an unfavorable comparison to the company’s earnings last year, when it earned $1.2 billion from advertising associated with the London Olympic Games.

The Federal Communications Commission released a third set of Equal Employment Opportunity random audit letters to broadcasters and multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs). Each year, approximately 5% of broadcast stations and MVPDs are selected for the audits.

A growing number of Americans are posting photos and videos to websites, according to the Pew Research Center.  “Fifty-four percent of adult Internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created…their number has grown from 46% [since] last year.” Further, 47% of Internet users are “curators” (i.e. those who post photos and videos created by others online). The most popular app for taking and sharing photos and videos is Facebook’s Instagram, with 18% of cell phone owners using Instagram. Nine percent use Snapchat, a newer service which deletes photos and videos automatically after they have been viewed.

Samsung garnered the largest share of smartphone shipments to date in a third quarter, accounting for 35% (88 million) in 3Q13.  By comparison, Apple’s share was 13.4% (33.8 million), down from 15.6% last year.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported in its 2013 Holiday Sales Forecast that, of the 29% of tablet owners with 3G or 4G service, just 49% actually pay for a separate data plan. 

The New America Foundation (NAF) released a report concluding that Americans in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC are paying higher prices for slower Internet service compared to 19 other cities in Europe, North America and Asia. The next day, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a statement accusing NAF of “cherry picking” data and “comparing apples to oranges” by comparing “boutique ISPs with under 1,000 customers in urban areas to those charged by companies that serve millions of people in suburban and rural areas.”

Starting next fall, Nielsen will count TV programs viewed on mobile phones and tablets within its traditional TV ratings, the company announced. Nielsen will use codes embedded by TV networks to collect the data.

USA TODAY is the newspaper with the largest five-weekday average circulation, according to the Alliance for Audited Media’s (AAM) latest circulation report. On average, USA TODAY circulates 2.88 million newspapers, up from 1.71 million a year ago. The jump is attributed to new AAM rules allowing newspapers to count the distribution of free content on mobile and tablet apps as part of their circulation. Rounding out the top 5 were the five-weekday average circulations of The Wall Street Journal (2.27 million), The New York Times (1.89 million), The Los Angeles Times (671,797), and the New York Daily News, which fell to 467,110 from 535,875 a year ago.

IHS released a report showing low interest among consumers for smart TVs, with 73% not planning to buy a new smart TV over the next year.

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