Kids Embrace Technology For Its Usefulness

by , Jul 25, 2007, 7:00 AM
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While kids and young adults may be immersed in digital media, there are limits to what they want to know about the technology, according to new research.

A massive study--jointly produced by MTV Networks and Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions--surveyed 18,000 kids ages 8-14 in 16 countries, offering a wide range of results on digital entertainment and communications platforms.

One major finding is that kids are not focused on the detailed workings of the technology itself: It matters more to them how technology lets them communicate and be entertained. Only 20% of teens and young adults showed any "interest" in technology.

Research on mobile technology data also revealed some interesting observations. In Japan, for example, kids don't really own their own PCs--not until they get to college. As a result, their main digital device is the mobile phone.

MTV/Microsoft also observed kids' growing number of technology-connected friendships--all with an eye to observing how those relationships can influence brands. Kids 8-14 will have an average of 11 online and face-to-face friends--a number that will quickly rise. Young adults 14-24 have an average of 53 online and face-to-face friends.

According to the press release, "friends influence each other as much as marketers do. Friends are as important as brands." Bill Roedy, vice chairman of MTV Networks International, says the study "will help us build stronger and more innovative alliances with business partners across our 137 TV channels and 260 Web and mobile services."

For the still TV-centric MTV, the study showed promising data for television viewing--59% of kids 8-14 still prefer traditional TV over the computer and the Internet. One major exception is in China, where the study noted that 8- to-14-year-olds prefer online over TV.

The countries in the study included: The U.K., Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, China, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

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