A new study suggests that the media consumption habits of the youngest demographic of viewers is changing, and this change explains to some degree why television ratings are sinking, especially for children's programming.
Via Anthony Crupi at Advertising Age, the study from Miner & Co. Studio interviewed 800 parents and got some startling results. 57% of the parents said their children now choose mobile devices as their primary source for video. Almost half said that they will often punish their kids by taking away their mobile devices and make them watch old fashioned television, news which is surely breaking a TV executive's heart somewhere.
Additionally, the survey stated that 41% of parents claimed that their kids, when given the choice between their mobile device and a sweet snack, would choose the mobile device. (Miner & Co. put together a neat, mildly frightening video about the way some kids use their mobile devices, which can be found here.)
I think some of this can be chalked up to plain old child-like behavior. Kids see the mobile device as another toy. While television is communal, to be enjoyed potentially by a whole room of people at once, mobile devices and tablets and one-person-at-a-time in most cases, and can bring out a kid's "MINE!" instincts pretty quickly.
It is also worth noting that the survey interviewed parents of young children and not the children directly, so there may be some bias and exaggeration going on here. But the survey results are well in line with the trend of younger generations being more comfortable with mobile, and more interested in the highly personalized experience that is a given in our digital age.