mobile devicesTeens are driving growth in Internet usage, and they’re making use of a variety of devices – smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, and connected TVs, as well as PCs – in doing so, according to a new GfK Multimedia Mentor study.

Teens ages 13-17 spent over 4 hours per day using the Internet on average in 2013, up 37% since the beginning of 2012. Time spent online by those aged 18-64, 18-54, and 18-49, in contrast, was essentially flat over the same period, GfK found.

The amount of time teens spent online using tablets leapt higher, increasing 157% to over half-an-hour a day. Their online minutes using smartphones rose 72% to over one hour a day, while online time via connected TVs was up 86% to 13 minutes daily.

Findings from GfK’s The Home Technology Monitor indicate that smartphone ownership among 13-17 year-olds surged 70%, from 35% to 55%, in the past year alone. Teen tablet ownership doubled, rising from 18% to 37%, over the same period.

“Teens are not only accessing the Internet more – they are also leading the way in using it via different platforms,” GfK Media and Entertainment team vice president Robert DeFelice was quoted as saying.

“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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