OTX, releasing new results from its Teen Topix study, the complex lives of the 13 -17 year old set, found that teens are spending an average of 11.5 hours online, doing everything from instant messaging and visiting social networking sites to shopping and listening to music, but dispels myths that this group wants to do everything online.
Jane Buckingham, President, The Intelligence Group, concludes that "Teens are not a ‘one size fits all' market and the... report show this group to be complex, sophisticated consumers and media users... "
Given the choice, though, teens prefer real friends to online friends, date someone from school over someone from the Internet, and shop in a store to shop online,
Ranking Paired Preferences(Teens aged 13-17)
Would you rather...
% or respondents
% of respondents
Have a lot of "real friends"
Have a lot of "online friends"
Date someone you know from school
Date someone you meet on the Internet
Shop in a store
Watch a full length program on TV
Watch a full length program online
No television for a week
No Internet for a week
Get information from the Internet
Get information from traditional media like TV, magazines, or newspapers
Give up cell phone texting
Give up Internet access
Get your locker vandalized
Get your personal homepage of profile vandalized
Be limited to a TV antenna for watching TV
Be limited to a dial up connection to access the Internet
IM your friend
Call your friend
Source: OTX, June 2008
The study did find that 24% of teens are spending more than 15 hours a week online and when all teens were asked how frequently they do typical online activities, instant messaging came up as the most frequent activity, followed by visiting social networking sites, email, searching, and visiting virtual community sites.
Bruce Friend, President Media and Entertainment Insights for OTX, said "Many of (their) online activities take place simultaneously... our Longitudinal Media Experience (LMX) study confirms that teenagers are often heavy simultaneous media users."
The study also says that 58% of teens have made a purchase online. On average teens who make purchases online are spending $46 per month, and 26% of teens are spending $50 or more. Clothes and music are the two most popular online purchases, followed by books, electronics and DVDs.
The bedroom (36%) and living room (24%) are the places teens are most likely to have their primary computer. Teens with their primary computer in their bedrooms are more likely to be heavy internet users (15+ hours per week) and spend money online.
Products Personally Purchased Online (Among teens who have purchased online)
% of Respondents (multiple response OK)
Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
Source: OTX, June 2008
78% of teens are concerned about computer viruses while online, followed by:
The average teen has signed up for over four social networking sites and currently belongs to two, reports the study. Teens are receptive to advertising on these sites, where the majority of teens learn about:
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