Net is playground for parents as well as children

Parents are far more likely to use the internet regularly than adults without children, according to research published today, and what they are doing online varies with the age of their offspring.The research, carried out in a dozen countries by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA), reinforces the view that people with children stay at home more than other adults, but also shows that for parents the internet is a source of information and entertainment.’s a family affair [news release]
EIAA research shows massive opportunity to engage with digital familiesResearch announced today from the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) reveals that adults who live with children are more engaged online than those who don’t, indicating that family needs and wants are shaping web behaviour.The first ever ‘Digital Families’ Report, the latest in the EIAA Mediascope Europe series, reveals interesting insights into the digital lifestyles of Europe’s online families. The research shows that almost three-quarters (73%) of people living with children are logging on to the internet each week, compared with only half (52%) of those without. They are also engaging in a wider range of digital activities than those that live without children, ever extending the depth and complexity of their experience. This increases the opportunity for brands to engage with their audience online and means that marketers must develop targeted and effective online strategies to appeal to today’s online families and meet their specific lifestyle needs.Influencing Entertainment
Almost a third (30%) of these digital parents are watching film, TV or video clips online, demonstrating how entertainment is becoming integral to the family internet experience. It’s an activity which is growing enormously in popularity (+150% since 2006) and with 22% also intending to upgrade to broadband in the next six months, this trend is set to accelerate. 32% are listening to the radio online and 66% now regularly use the internet as a source of news – showing how broadcast and other traditional media are increasingly being consumed online.In addition, digital parents are using the internet to express themselves more and to interact with others. Web activities such as ratings and reviews and creating and sharing content have experienced a significant boost since 2006 (+40% and +27% respectively).Age Differences
The research also shows that the websites visited by digital parents and their online activities vary according to the age of the children. People living with very young children (between nought and four) are increasingly visiting health and film websites (+24% since 2006) while those living with children between five and nine are going to games sites (+32%). Price comparison sites are seeing a boost amongst those living with children between ten and fifteen (+31%) while those with older children (between 16 and 18) are enjoying more TV sites (+77%). Users living with older children also seem to be more technically advanced – almost half (47%) of those living with children aged 16-18 use instant messaging services compared to 37% of people living with children aged nought to four. A similar trend is seen when comparing film, TV or video clip downloads (30% vs. 22%) and music downloads (36% vs. 32%).Gadgets and Games
Overall, the study demonstrates that people living with children are more technologically aware and advanced due to their heightened experience of, and exposure to, gadgets and gizmos:See for a table of gadgets and gizmos.People living with children are also more likely than those without to use a mobile phone, PDA or blackberry (91% vs. 83%) and to actively engage in a wide range of mobile phone functions – further indicating the influence of youth on technical skill and openness to adopt. More than half (53%) have taken a photo or video clip (vs. 37% of those without children), 12% have surfed internet sites (vs. 9%) and 8% have watched video or film clips on their mobiles (vs. 5%).Family Time Online
Overall, digital parents are ramping up their web time, spending 11.6 hours online each week (up 36% since 2004) and over a quarter are heavy users of the internet (27%). Digital families are also more likely than those households without children to use the internet at the weekends (58% vs. 40%).This online activity has meant that digital families are consuming other media less as a result of the internet – 44% of digital parents are watching less TV, almost a third read fewer magazines and newspapers (31% and 30% respectively) and almost a quarter (24%) listen to the radio less. This can be attributed in part to the fact that time-pressured adults living with children find the web provides what they want quickly and saves them time (76% vs. 68% of people without children) while almost half (47%) believe it puts them in control (vs. 42%).Alison Fennah, Executive Director of the EIAA says, “Looking at the online habits and activities of digital families highlights just how inclusive and engaging the internet has become. Marketers have traditionally tracked youth as a demographic online so it is particularly interesting to see their influence on the rest of the family. Whether it’s time-pressures, information accessibility or entertainment needs that prompt use, online has a very clear part to play in the daily lives of each and every member of the family, whether surfing solo or together as a unit. Marketers must look to tap into this mindset when creating online campaigns.”The study involved 7,008 random telephone interviews with over 1,000 respondents in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Nordics respectively and 500 respondents in Belgium and the Netherlands respectively. Interviews were conducted throughout September 2007.About the EIAA
The European Interactive Advertising Association ( is a unique pan- European trade organisation for sellers of interactive media. The primary objectives of the EIAA are to champion and to improve the understanding of the value of online advertising as a medium, to grow the European interactive advertising market by proving its effectiveness, thus increasing its share of total advertising investment. Its members are currently AD Europe, AdLINK Group, AOL Europe, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, Tiscali, Yahoo! Europe, LYCOS Network Europe, Atlas & DRIVEpm, Doubleclick, wunderloop, MTV Networks International and PREMIUM PUBLISHERS ONLINE. It is chaired by Michael Kleindl, Managing Partner of Valkiria Network. The EIAA members’ networks account for over 80% of the European online audience.

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