Teens: More Time Online Than Watching Television
The results of the study were announced today at "Born to be Wired: Understanding the First Wired Generation," Yahoo!'s conference for marketers, which is designed to further explore and understand the media consumption patterns of teens and young adults, and how marketers can best communicate with this group.
"Born to Be Wired"
While teens and young adults consume many different types of media, the study revealed that the Internet surpasses them all in the amount of time spent, which in an average week is as follows: (1) 16.7 hours online (excluding email), (2) 13.6 hours watching TV, (3) 12 hours listening to the radio, (4) 7.7 hours talking on the phone, (5) Six hours reading books and magazines (personal, not scholastic).
The study, which polled more than 2,500 teens and young adults (ages 13-24) using both qualitative and quantitative methods, revealed that "control" -- the ability to personalize and manage the media experience and content -- emerged as the primary reason this group chooses the Internet over other forms of media. Survey findings also showed that teens use the Internet as a "hub" -- or primary media -- while other media are used as a starting point for the online experience. While other generations are more likely to be wed to a single type of media, the study revealed that today's teens and young adults are not overwhelmed by the abundance of media choices like cable stations, networks, magazines and radio, but rather feel empowered by it and are able to multi-task -- using more than one form of media at a time -- more than any other generation.
On a typical day, a young person is faced with a universe full of media which includes 200+ cable television networks, 5,500 consumer magazine titles, 10,500 radio stations, 30 million+ websites, and 122,000 newly published books. To many adults, this is a daunting, fragmented media landscape. Not so among today's youth generation. They were literally born to a world of media choice that places them firmly in control of their media environment.
"Marketers have been using the same media strategies since television became the primary medium for most market segments in the 1950s. It's time to rethink," said Wenda Harris Millard, chief sales officer, Yahoo!. "The findings of our joint study confirm that the media landscape is shifting. Our industry needs to evaluate and change our communications approach to successfully reach this key target market. This generation is a revolutionary consumer group, actively in control and entrenched in their media experience, and their patterns will influence the future of media spending."
"It is so important for marketers to understand the sea change that is taking place in media consumption habits. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the teen segments," said Sarah Fay, president of Carat Interactive. "This study gives us insight that helps not only to determine the appropriate media mix for reaching teens, but more importantly the role of each medium, and how the dots connect within that mix. This new information will guide us into the future as consumer media habits continue to morph toward more diverse and fragmented mediums."