Big Data of KaDa Story Shows: Children’s Digital Reading Volume Has Risen and 2-Years-Old Becomes the Starting Line for Reading


The Chinese Academy of Press and Publication (CAPP) and the KaDa Research Center of Children Reading jointly released the 2020 China Children’s Digital Reading Report on April 16th. The report analyzes the current situation and trends of contemporary children’s digital reading in diverse dimensions based on 10 billion pieces of data obtained from KaDa Story. As for the age of children's reading and enlightenment, the report demonstrates choices and answers of some Chinese parents.

Reading before going to bed every night has become a habit of Wu Lijiao and her son. She is from Shenyang and she told us, "From the time my son could read, I began to attach importance to reading education. Besides, the kindergarten requires them to read children’s picture books every night. Now he has developed the habit of reading books before going to bed and I also take time to read with him for a while every day." The choice of Wu coincides with the result of KaDa Story big data, which shows that the time before going to bed from 8pm to 10pm is the peak hour of Chinese children’s reading.

The report reflects that 74.8% of children begin to read before 2 years old and the starting year for reading continues to be younger. On the one hand, data shows that parents are paying more and more attention to their children's reading education. On the other hand, it also confirms the truth that children's ability to accept reading is far stronger than adults think.

In 2020, the pandemic facilitates the high level of activity of children’s reading Apps represented by KaDa Story. On the KaDa story platform alone, the average number of books read in 2020 reached up to 55.6. Children's digital reading is outstanding from online education and has become a general tool to support education. Wu Lijiao told us, “due to the pandemic last year, we purchased children’s picture books online. Besides, we also allow kids to use tablets and smart phones to read on Apps and official accounts of Wechat.”

The report shows that extracurricular reading has become popular and sales of children's books have increased by over 50% in 2020. On an e-commerce platform, we searched for "children's picture books" and found that nearly 20 kinds of children's picture books had sold more than 10,000 copies monthly, with a maximum of 44,000. A customer service staff of a book franchise said that the sales of children's picture books have been increasing continuously in 2020. Many consumers bought different children's picture books more than once, and some picture books with online audiobook functions were very popular.

As information technology develops unremittingly, the proportion of Chinese children's digital reading continues to rise and digital reading has gradually become the mainstream of children's reading. According to the report, China's children's digital reading users have increased in consecutive years since 2016 and the market potential has continued to increase. The feature of starting to read at an early age is significant. Users aged 0-6 have increased by far more than 100%. Content is an important factor that affects children's reading choices. Compared with audio stories, animation videos, audio picture books are the most popular with children.

Yang Le, who works in Beijing, told us that although his child was not in Beijing, he invested a lot in the kids’ education. He said, "My wife and I work in Beijing. My daughter lives with my parents in my hometown. Although the child is not around, I purchase some audiobooks, picture books and storybooks each month. My parents read to her when she has time."

As for expenses, Yang Le said, “These expenses are not worth mentioning since they contribute to cultivation of a good reading habit.”

The report also points out that children's digital reading users not only have a high degree of customer stickiness, but also their willingness to pay increased by 56.5% compared that in 2019, especially in the education of children, which Chinese parents generally pay much attention to. Parents generally regard their children's reading as educational behavior instead of entertainment. In pre-school, primary and secondary education stages, education expenditures average account for 20.6% of total household expenditures and 14.6% of households’ education expenditures accounted for over half. Especially influenced by the pandemic in 2020, the market is in a favorable stage as online education users have surged.

The industry insiders believe that the younger age trend in reading reflects parents’ value upon children's reading education. Reading is an important way to guide children's growth. Driven by digital technology, the continuous popularization of children’s reading Apps, such as KaDa Story, will benefit a wider range of people to make children with different interests at different stages of growth in different regions feel the fascination of reading.

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