Nearly half of U.S. kid downloaders use iTunes

A new report from the NPD Group has found that nearly half of U.S. kids download music from iTunes. The group estimates that up to 70% of U.S.

kids aged 9-14 download music in a given month, with 49% using iTunes. Another 26% use Limewire, while an estimated 16% download music from MySpace. The NPD Group blames parents who let their children use the web unsupervised for the high percentage of illegal downloads.

“The music industry hoped that litigation and education might encourage parents to keep better tabs on their kids’ digital music activities,” said NPD analyst Russ Crupnick in a statement releasing the reports results, “but the truth is many kids continue to share music via P2P.” According to Crupnick, two-thirds of these kids who use the internet do so unsupervised, while another 59% say they download music on their own, without parental supervision. “Findings in this report suggest that the industry can still do more to promote specific ways children can obtain digital music legally, through pre-paid accounts and gift cards,” Crupnick added. “Another potential way to reach kids is through industry-sanctioned, ad-supported Web destinations where kids can obtain digital music safely and legally.” [via Macworld UK]

[Note: This story’s title was updated after publication to clarify that the 49% statistic refers to the percentage of children who download, as opposed to the total percentage of children using iTunes in the general U.S.