Digital Media for Children

On behalf of the Minister of State for Culture and the Media and in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Roland Rosenstock from the University of Greifswald, House of Research analysed the distribution and use of digital services for children in Germany. One focus of the study was on the German-language websites for children, which have been supported since 2008 by the “Ein Netz für Kinder” funding program. The evaluation of this funding program was also part of the study.

House of Research analysed more than 400 children’s websites and 600 children’s apps, interviewed children and parents, both qualitatively and quantitatively, about their usage behaviour and conducted more than 30 expert interviews with national and international experts in various fields.

The results showed that in Germany a wide range of websites and apps are available especially for children. The online presences, which are often run on a voluntary basis, are largely dependent on the funding of support programs and, in some cases, could only be realized with the support of “Ein Netz für Kinder”. Both the websites and apps are usually high-quality and up-to-date, but only some of the children and parents are familiar with them. Most children, on the other hand, navigate on websites they know from television, on YouTube or on sites with popular heroes (e. g. Bibi and Tina). Striking is the ever earlier age at which children are starting to use digital services. Already at preschool age they use apps on tablets or smartphones.

The detailed results can be found in the final report of the study.