Kids spending more time online than TV

The amount of time UK children spend online has overtaken that spent watching television for the first time, according to a new report.

An annual survey by research agency Childwise suggested young people now use the internet for three hours a day on average, compared with just 2.1 hours sitting in front of the television.

Video-sharing website YouTube, image-sharing sites Instagram and Snapchat and social network Facebook were among the most popular online destinations for children.

And half of the more than 2000 five to 16-year-olds who took part in the survey had watched programs on Netflix, ahead of ITV on 47 per cent and BBC One on 46 per cent.

The trend may have been aided by a surge in tablet ownership among children, which was up 50 per cent on last year.

Simon Leggett, Childwise research director, said this year’s survey showed that “TV viewing has been redefined”.

He told the BBC: “Growing access to the internet at any time and in any place, and a blurring of television content across channels and devices, brings a landmark change in behaviour this year.

“Children are now seeking out the content of their choice. They still find traditional TV programs engaging but are increasingly watching them online and on-demand or binge-watching box sets.”

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