Teens Read Newspapers, Spend Parents' Money, and Back-Off Brands

Teens Read Newspapers, Spend Parents' Money, and Back-Off Brands

According to a study by Teenage Research Unlimited for the Newspaper Association of America, teens do read newspapers. Fifty-four percent of them spent one or more hours reading a newspaper in the past week. This study was designed to better understand the teen readers so that newspapers and marketers will be better prepared to create attractive content.

These young consumers spent $158 billion dollars in 2005, a 6% drop from 2004. Teen unemployment has kept many wallets thin as their paychecks flow into their gas tanks. And, teens' parents fears about a housing bubble has hampered free spending. But teens remain optimistic about their economic status and believe their future careers will be lucrative.

Teens still command the attention and respect of marketers, says the report. Advertisers will continue developing campaigns focused on teens, since 46% of teens (12-17) say they will spend more money in the next 12 months, compared to 15% who said they will spend less money.

Highlights From the Study About Teens 12-17

  • Fifty-four percent of teens spend one or more hours reading a newspaper in a given week.
  • Ninety-five percent of teens plan to enter college in the future.
  • Most teens (58%) obtain money from their parents as a source of income.
  • Sixty-two percent of teens have a savings account.
  • Teens spend an average of $74 dollars per week; which includes their own and other people's money.
  • Eighty-two percent of teens have a computer at home.
  • Seventy-one percent of teens have access to the Internet at home.
  • Forty-four percent of teens have purchased something online.

In the past year, teens have placed an emphasis on getting more value for their money. Where teens once insisted that their outfits be "branded' from top to bottom, they now feel satisfied with one expensive item with an interchangeable ensemble of value conscious attire.

More Key Findings:

  • Sixty-four percent of teens spent one or more hours exercising in the past 7 days, and 53% spent one or more hours at the mall
  • Forty-four percent of teens have purchased something on-line. Teens spent an average of $73 dollars on their last on-line purchase
  • Eighty-two percent of teens have computers in their homes and 71% have access to the Internet
  • 33% of teens earn money from odd jobs
  • 58% receive money from their parents when they need it                                  

Percent of Teens Spending One or More Hours in Past 7 Days

Activity

 Age12-17

Males

Females

12-14

15-17

Reading a book

55%

44%

67%

57%

54%

Watching rented videos

58

57

60

56

61

Going to movie theatres

50

51

50

49

52

Exercising

64

64

65

59

69

Going to the mall

53

42

63

49

56

Downloading music

30

31

29

23

38

Playing video games

56

75

36

62

50

Going to library/museum/gallery

27

22

32

29

25

Playing sports

74

79

69

81

68

Source: Teenage Research Unlimited, Inc., Fall 2005

Fifty-four percent of teens read a newspaper in the past 7 days. Older teens (15-17) outpace younger teens (12-14) with newspaper reading... 63% vs. 44%.

Newspaper Sections Appealing to Teens

Section Read Last 7 Days

Age12-17

Males

Females

12-14

15- 17

Advertising (food, clothing, etc.)

34%

22%

46%

31%

36%

Classified (jobs, used cars, etc.)

25

25

26

15

36

Comics

49

50

48

52

46

Entertainment

41

38

44

39

43

Grocery ads

10

6

15

10

11

Horoscopes

31

20

42

26

35

Local & community news

32

29

36

25

39

National news

22

22

22

17

27

Sports

42

54

30

39

45

TV and Radio listings

20

19

21

22

18

Source: Teenage Research Unlimited, Inc., Fall 2005

For more information on teens and the PDF report, please go here.

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