The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Measurement Matters: Difficulties in Defining and Measuring Children’s Viewing

A new research article by Sonia Livingstone and and Claire Local (2017) addresses the difficulties in measuring children's viewing during a crucial time for public service broadcasting. 

Audience measurement techniques currently fail to provide a clear picture of trends in children’s television viewing because of the diversification in devices on which television content can be viewed. It is argued that understanding how children engage with television content is undermined by commonplace but problematic comparisons of time spent on television viewing and on Internet use, in which it is widely believed that children are deserting ‘television’ for ‘the Internet’. Although it is already well known that television content can be viewed on Internet-enabled devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptop computers while Internet content and services can be accessed via Internet-enabled television sets, such viewing cannot be measured satisfactorily at present. While no doubt measurement techniques will continue to improve in accuracy, this article suggests that such measurement difficulties matter at a time when children’s public service broadcasting provision is falling and further threatened.

To read the full article click here.

Research

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