Tablets Reign as Digital Platform for Children

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

By Beth Bacon

The tablet is now the leading device for e-reading among children, according to a recent report from PlayCollective and Digital Book World. In the past six months, tablets have overtaken dedicated e-readers as American kids’ digital reading platform of choice.

84% of e-reading children now have access to tablets, up form 72% last January. The tablet is the technology 60% of e-reading kids use most, up for 48% last January. The use of dedicated e-readers among children has dropped to 17%, down from 24% of children about six months ago.

The increase in tablet use reflects the broader availability of new child-friendly devices such as the Apple iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, as well as an increased use of tablets in schools. Among the families surveyed, Kindle Fire was owned by 27% of households, and the iPad (version 1, 2, or 3) was owned by 20% of households. The report speculates that Amazon’s increased market share among households with children “may be the result of decreasing prices, increasing advertisements and the large selection of children’s ebooks.”

Tablets are the No. 1 e-reading device for kids.

Tablets are the No. 1 e-reading device for kids.

Though Kindle Fire’s usage grew among families overall, the iPad remains the leading brand of e-reading device for households with younger children. When broken down by age, 27% of preschoolers ages 2 to 5 and 28% of children ages 6 to 9 most often use iPads. 32% of  preteens ages 10 to 13, however, most often use Kindle Fire devices.

E-reading device popularity is just one small part of the report, “Back To School In An E-Reading World” which is the second volume in the series of reports entitled “The ABCs of Kids and Ebooks.” The “Back to School” volume  covers a wide range of issues affecting children and ebooks including ebook pricing, purchase decisions, as well as e-reading in the classroom and during the summer. It acknowledges that ebook revenues are soaring and tablets are becoming the device-of-choice for children’s ebooks.

Image of child with tablet via Shutterstock.