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Monitor Report 2023

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  • 176 Pages
  • February 2023
  • Region: United Kingdom
  • ChildWise
  • ID: 5752331

A comprehensive annual report focused on children and young people's media consumption, purchasing habits, attitudes and activities

With the third UK national lockdown fully lifted by early 2022, this year’s Monitor survey is the first fully post pandemic, with all schools open during fieldwork (Autumn 2022), and life getting back to some sense of normality for most young people.

For now they can put worries about Covid-19 behind them, but it is clear that worries about the cost of living crisis are not far from their thoughts.

17-18 year olds

This year, after several years of data collection, we have included the views of 17-18 year olds for the first time.

Young people this age in England are now expected to carry on with some form of education, whether this is staying in full-time education, for example at a college, starting an apprenticeship or traineeship, or spending 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering while in part-time education or training.

TikTok and YouTube wars

This year, YouTube has finally been unseated as children’s favourite website or app.

YouTube has been their top favourite for the last ten years, since 2013 when it replaced Facebook at the top of the list.

Snapchat has been a close contender with YouTube over the years, but interest peaked in 2017 and has declined ever since.

So this year, TikTok becomes their new top favourite, as it just nudges ahead in popularity.

Whilst more children claim to use YouTube than TikTok (more than half say they use YouTube every day), YouTube is becoming more functional and therefore the excitement of using it is wearing off.

The key area where TikTok excels over YouTube for children is the ease of use - compared with YouTube, far more children using TikTok say they don’t have to think about what to watch, it just recommends for them, and the main gripe about YouTube (adverts) is nowhere near as worrisome for TikTok users.

A shift away from favourite programmes

This year, recognising that children and young people are less likely to refer to ‘TV’ and ‘programmes’ when thinking about what they like to watch, the publisher reworded the questions to the more general ‘What are some of the things you're watching in your free time at the moment’.

Most could still name something they are watching, but mentions of specific programmes only really start to appear among older children, with most choosing to mention providers such as YouTube and Netflix, plus social media such as TikTok as the ‘channel’ they are watching most of at the moment.

Emotional stability

This year there seems to have been a drop in the number of children and young people saying they feel stressed about school work, worried or anxious, that they don’t look good enough, that they are not good enough, or that the way they look holds them back, and in most cases agreement with the list of statements returns to proportions last seen in 2020, after a spike in 2021, when the UK entered its third national lockdown and the future remained uncertain.

Generally speaking, children and young people are typically more likely to say they ever experience these sorts of emotions as they get older, and girls remain more likely than boys to say they ever experience feelings like this.

Despite fewer registering negative emotions, there is a small but growing proportion of young people who say they are not happy most of the time, especially among older girls.

Table of Contents


  • Background to the report
  • Sample
  • Interview
  • Report Contents
  • A note on ethnicity
  • A note on gender

1.1 Devices at home
1.2 Own devices
1.3 Devices used to access the internet
1.4 Location of internet access
1.5 Time online per day

2.1 Favourite websites and apps by type
2.2 Favourite websites and apps
2.3 Use of listed websites and apps
2.4 Frequency of using TikTok
2.5 Time spent using TikTok
2.6 Favourite TikTokers
2.7 Attitudes towards TikTok

3.1 Frequency of using YouTube
3.2 Time spent using YouTube
3.3 Devices used access YouTube
3.4 Favourite YouTuber/channel
3.5 Attitudes towards YouTube

4.1 Devices used to play games on in the last week
4.2 Ownership of games consoles
4.3 Games console brands
4.4 Time spent playing on games consoles
4.5 Selected games played in the last week

5.1 Viewing per day
5.2 Balance of viewing across devices
5.3 Watching on-demand
5.4 Using subtitles

6.1 Children's channels watched
6.2 Other channels watched
6.3 Channel types
6.4 On demand services
6.5 How is on-demand different to TV?
6.6 Favourite content watched by type
6.7 Favourite content watched

7.1 Ownership of mobile phones
7.2 Mobile phone activities
7.3 Time spent on their mobile phone
7.4 Mobile phone access

8.1 Services used to access music
8.2 Devices used to access music
8.3 Favourite group or singer by type
8.4 Favourite group or singer

9.1 Frequency of reading books
9.2 Frequency of reading magazines and comics
9.3 Time spent reading per day
9.4 Time spent reading online per day

10.1 Own computer devices
10.2 Own games consoles
10.3 Own mobile phones
10.4 Time spent using devices per day
10.5 Devices they could least live without


11.1 Pocket money, allowance and jobs
11.2 Weekly income
11.3 Ad hoc handouts
11.4 Ad hoc handouts in the last week

12.1 Self purchase categories


13.1 Sport at school and out of school
13.2 Time spent playing sport at school
13.3 Time spent playing sport outside school
13.4 Types of sport played at school
13.5 Types of sport played out of school
13.6 Out of school activities

14.1 How healthy do you think you are
14.2 How happy are you most of the time
14.3 How often do they feel different emotions
14.4 Which words would they use to describe the future

15.1 The Queen
15.2 The King
15.3 Statements about the royal family

  • About the Publisher
  • Product purchasing terms and conditions

Executive Summary

This report is a comprehensive annual focused on children's and teenagers' media consumption, purchasing behaviour, and aspects of their wider life, now in its 29th year. This year, more than 2800 children aged 5-18 across the United Kingdom were interviewed in depth on a range of topics.

The 2023 Monitor Survey covers:

  • Technology: computer ownership and usage, internet usage, time spent online
  • Websites and Apps: favourite sites/apps, use of selected websites and apps, frequency of using TikTok, time spent on TikTok, favourite TikTokers, attitudes towards TikTok
  • YouTube: frequency of using YouTube, time spent on YouTube, devices used to access YouTube, favourite YouTubers, attitudes towards YouTube
  • Gaming: devices used for gaming, games console ownership, time spent playing, selected games playwed in the last week
  • Viewing Habits: time spent watching content, balance of viewing across devices, wathcing on-demand, using subtitles
  • Services and Content: channels watched, on-demand services, favourite content
  • Mobile Phones: ownership, mobile phone activities, time spent on their mobile, mobile phone access
  • Music: devices used to access music, services used to access music, favourite artists
  • Reading: frequency of reading books, frequency of reading ,magazines and comics, time spent reading overall, reading online
  • Children's Equipment: summary of devices owned, gadgets they could not live without
  • Money: pocket money and earnings, ad-hoc handouts
  • Purchasing: categories bought from
  • Sport and Activities: weekly hours in/out of school, sports played at school/out of school, activities outside school
  • Heath and Wellbeing: how healthy, how happy, how oftewn they feel different emotions, words to describe the future
  • The Royal Family: the Queen, the King, statements about the royal family

Companies Mentioned

  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Nintendo
  • Microsoft
  • Sony
  • Nickelodeon
  • BBC
  • Turner
  • ITV
  • SKY
  • Channel 4
  • Channel 5
  • National Geographic