Study: Online A Teenage Wasteland

by , Jun 25, 2009, 1:56 PM
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teen girls watching tvAs the head of any teen-filled household knows, young adults have hardly abandoned TV for new media. Yet according to a new report from Nielsen Company, U.S. adolescents are actually watching more TV than ever -- up 6% over the past five years.

Another perhaps counterintuitive finding is that while teens clearly love the Internet, they actually spend less time online than mature adults.

Nielsen's study on the state of teen media usage finds that teens spend 11 hours and 32 minutes per month online -- far below the average of 29 hours and 15 minutes for which adults are presently responsible. However, while teens watch less online video than most adults, they report that the ads are highly engaging. Indeed, while teens spend 35% less time watching online video than adults 25-34, they recall ads better when watching TV shows online than they do on the tube.

"The media experience is broadening for all consumers, not just teens," said Nic Covey, director of insights for The Nielsen Company. "Looking at our research across markets and media, we see that contrary to popular assumption, teens are actually pretty normal in their usage, and more attentive than most give them credit for."

Overall, teens read newspapers, listen to the radio, and do seem to like ads more than most. Those who recall TV ads are 44% more likely to say they liked the ad.

Teens obviously play video games, but their tastes are not all for the blood-and-guts-style games, as just two of their top five most-anticipated games since 2005 have been rated "Mature."

Perhaps even more shocking, teens' favorite TV shows, Web sites and genre preferences across media are mostly the same as their parents. For U.S. teens, "American Idol" was the top show in 2008, and Google was the top Web site, while general dramas are a preferred TV genre for teens around the world.

Nielsen-Average Monthly Time Spent Using Internet

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