Where Teens Are: Multitasking In Front Of Tube
Still, they're not just sitting there, the study says. They're also e-mailing and Instant Messaging friends, surfing the Web, and--as one other example of a surviving tradition--they're on the phone.
An analysis of Nielsen Galaxy ratings for the first 20 weeks of the current TV season indicates that at least 500,000 more 12- to-24-year-olds are tuning into TV on a nightly basis. What's more, total day TV ratings for the segment are also on the rise. That's compared with last season, which was also a growth period for the segment. Translation: TV is attracting compound growth from this important audience.
If anyone needs to worry about where the teens are, it's broadcasters, said Ira Sussman, CAB's vice president for research.
"There is particular growth in cable in those two targets--12- to-17-year-olds and 18- to-24-year-olds--because cable has aggressively sought out programming to offer to them," Sussman said.
While broadcast nets are pulling in fewer of these so-called elusive consumers, cable nets are driving an overall upward trend.
The net effect of a 100-channel environment where viewers hold the controls: TV is being remade. The content election of 12- to-24-year-olds represents one important example. From all appearances, these viewers are less "elusive" in the dual-brand environments on cable.
"This 'next' generation of media conquerors--multi-tasking, multi-screen, on-the-move media manipulators--were expected to shift industry paradigms," Sussman said. "With this newfound empowerment, the thought was that declines in 'traditional' media consumption--particularly that of TV--were inevitable. Instead, what we're seeing is an expansion of media consumption, with TV still in the lead. The numbers say that teens/young adults are going to the dual destination of branded storefronts on TV. This generation has only known a branded TV environment with 60+ channels. They have found how to get their needs met in TV now. If they didn't, we'd see it squarely in the numbers. Instead, we see exactly the opposite."