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Teens' Time Spent Online Grew 37% Since 2012, Outpacing Other Age Groups

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Teenagers' internet use is growing faster than that of any other key age group, abetted by a variety of devices smartphones, tablets, videogame consoles, and connected TVs.

According to GfK's MultiMedia Mentor, time spent online by teens (ages 13 to 17) rose 37%, to just over 4 hours per day, compared to the beginning of 2012; by contrast, online minutes remained essentially flat for those aged 18 to 64, 18 to 54, and even 18 to 49.

The teens' increases were driven by huge leaps in their time spent online via tablets (up 157%, to over a half hour daily), smartphones (up 72%, to over an hour a day), and even connected TVs (up 86%, to 13 minutes daily).

The new findings are supported by research which indicates that smartphone ownership among the 13-to-17 group jumped 70%, from 35% to 55%, in just the past year. Teen tablet ownership doubled, from 18% to 37%, in the same timeframe.

"Teens are not only accessing the Internet more -- they are also leading the way in using it via different platforms," said Robert DeFelice, Vice President on GfK's Media and Entertainment team.

"Technologies like smartphones and tablets, which may have been too pricey for pre-adults 10 to 15 years ago, are now widely owned and accepted. And teenagers use these products for a broad spectrum of tasks -- streaming video, purchasing and listening to music, and all kinds of shopping. But one shouldn't discount PC use among teens; it remains a major factor in time spent with the Internet."

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