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June 2009
How Teens Use Media
A Nielsen report on the
myths and realities of
teen media trends




                               INSIDE:
                      How teens use…

                          TV, Online and
                           Mobile Video

                                Internet

                          Mobile Phones

                                 Games

                                 Movies

                                  Music

                             Advertising
Executive Summary
    It’s easy to get caught up in the hype      •	 Teens watch less online video than          In a word, teens are “normal.”
    around teenagers. The notion that teens        most adults, but the ads are highly
                                                                                               It’s true: the media universe is expanding
    are too busy texting and Twittering to be      engaging to them: Teens spend 35%
                                                                                               for teens. Social networks play an in-
    engaged with traditional media is excit-       less time watching online video than
                                                                                               creasingly important role (about half of
    ing, but false.                                adults 25–34, but recall ads better when
                                                                                               U.S. teens use Facebook) and now many
                                                   watching TV shows online than they do
    To develop the best strategy around                                                        teens access the Web over their phones
                                                   on television.
    teens and media, start by challenging                                                      (37% in the U.S.) Teens time-shift
    popular assumptions about teens. Don’t      •	 Teens read newspapers, listen to the        video with DVRs and they place-shift
    focus on the outliers, but on the macro-       radio and even like advertising more        on their video MP3 players. Yet teens
    level trends of media and preferences for      than most: Teens who recall TV ads are      are not unique in this media revolution.
    the segment. The averages will show you        44% more likely to say they liked the ad.   The media experience has evolved and
    that teens can often be reached by the                                                     cross-platform engagement will be criti-
                                                •	 Teens play video games, but are as
    same means as their parents.                                                               cal to reaching all consumers, not just
                                                   excited about play-along music games
                                                                                               teens. Media innovations have impacted
    In this report, “How Teens Use Media,”         and car-racing games as they are about
                                                                                               everyone’s experience—not just the High
    we debunk the myths and give you the           violent ones: Just two of their top five
                                                                                               School Musical set.
    hard facts.                                    most-anticipated games since 2005 are
                                                   rated “Mature.”                             So don’t reconfigure the playbook.
    •	 Teens are NOT abandoning TV for
                                                                                               Discard the assumption that, as a rule,
       new media: In fact, they watch more      •	 Teens’ favorite TV shows, top websites
                                                                                               teens are “alien” and plan for them as
       TV than ever, up 6% over the past five      and genre preferences across media
                                                                                               you would any demographic segment—
       years in the U.S.                           are mostly the same as those of their
                                                                                               with careful attention and calculus, not
                                                   parents: For U.S. teens, American Idol
    •	 Teens love the Internet…but spend                                                       panic. Keep your eye on the averages,
                                                   was the top show in 2008, Google the
       far less time browsing than adults:                                                     keep your head on your shoulders, and
                                                   top website and general dramas are a
       Teens spend 11 hours and 32 minutes                                                     before you rewire your system, remind
                                                   preferred TV genre for teens around
       per month online—far below the                                                          yourself: Teens are people, too.
                                                   the world.
       average of 29 hours and 15 minutes.


Introduction
Ephebiphobia is the irrational fear of          We sometimes fall prey to the notion           Globally, there are more than 1.2 billion
youth, rooted in the Greek “ephebos” for        that teen habits are changing so quickly       people ages 10–19, according to the U.S.
youth, and “phobos,” for, well, phobia.         and dramatically that they run counter to      Census. Of those, there are about 33
While the term was coined just 15 years         broader cultural trends, are unknowable        million teenagers ages 13–19 in the United
ago, a curiosity and mystique around            and unmeasurable, constantly evading our       States. Beyond sheer mass, this demo-
youth and their behavior has long been          understanding and engagement.                  graphic wields tremendous influence—on
a cultural obsession. Consider these                                                           their peers, their parents and the culture
                                                The fact is, teens are unique, but they are
Newsweek covers over the decades: “Let’s                                                       at large. As well, the formative nature of
                                                not as bizarre and outlying as some might
Face It: Our Teenagers Are Out of Control”                                                     their years has implications for everything
                                                presume. Sure, they are the digital natives,
in 1954; “The Teenagers: A Survey of What                                                      from consumer packaged goods marketing
                                                super-communicators and multi-taskers
They’re Really Like” in 1966; “The Secret                                                      to the democratic process.
                                                we hear so much about, but they are also
Life of Teens” in 1999 and “Why Teens Do
                                                the TV viewers, newspaper readers and          Understanding the reality of how teens
Stupid Things” in 2006, reflecting society’s
                                                radio listeners that some assume they are      use media is critical—not just for business,
long-held view that teens are downright
                                                not. What we have found, across a variety      but for civic, cultural and social pursuits.
troublesome—or a form of alien life.
                                                of studies, is that teens embrace new          This paper examines teens in the U.S. and
In media and marketing, ephebiphobia            media not at the cost of traditional media,    in many of the international markets that
shows up in the constant and frenetic           but in supplement to it. Taken on whole,       Nielsen measures. Our findings challenge
quest to understand how teens use media,        teens exhibit media habits that are more       a whole host of assumptions about the
made murky by assumptions that teens            similar to the total population than not.      media habits of this generation—offering
somehow behave radically differently                                                           a few surprises as we separate myth
than their parents and other consumers.                                                        from reality.




1
A Day in the Life
First, let’s look at a snapshot of how a
typical teen might spend a media day,
based on a variety of Nielsen sources:
Video consumption, led by TV viewing,
is the centerpiece of teen media
consumption.

Figure 1: A Day In The Life^
 Media Consumption of a Typical U.S. Teenager as measured by Nielsen                                                      Of course there is no “typical” teen-
                                                                                                                          age consumer, just as really there is no
                                         PC                                                                               typical consumer overall. The segmented
           TV                                                                                Video on an MP3
                                    52 minutes                    Mobile Voice                                            behavior of extreme teen users, teens
        3 hours,                                                                                   Player
                                     including                     6 minutes                                              of different races or genders and teens
       20 minutes                                                                             1 in 4 watched
                                    applications                                                                          in different regions, internationally and
                                                                                             Audio-Only MP3               domestically, is poorly represented by
          DVR                         Internet                 Text-Messages
                                                                                                  Player                  averages. But what averages conceal in
        8 minutes                    23 minutes               96 sent or received
                                                                                               1 in 2 used                variation, they make up for it in perspec-
                                                                  Mobile video                                            tive. A summary view of media behavior is
                                   Online video                                                                           particularly useful when examining teens,
          DVD                                                   If they watched,                 Newspaper
                                 If they watched,                                                                         since you may know or envision outliers of
       17 minutes                                                watched for 13                  1 in 4 read
                                watched 6 minutes                                                                         this segment and mistake their behavior
                                                                     minutes
                                                                                                                          as representative.
                                     PC Games                                                Movie Theater
   Console Gaming                                                 Mobile Web
                                   1 in 10 played,                                           Went once in the
     25 minutes                                                   1 in 3 used
                                        today                                                 past 5 weeks

^For directional purposes only, this table estimates daily U.S. teen media use across a variety of platforms based on a
range of Nielsen sources from 2008 and Q1 2009. Details of these estimates are contained in the body of this paper.
Source: The Nielsen Company




More Focused Than You Think
Myth: Teens use media—10 screens at                           School Media Too,” (2007). In the study,
a time                                                        researchers found that 23% of the media
                                                              time among observed teens was concur-
Reality: Teens are more likely than adults
                                                              rent media exposure, where two or more
to use their media one at a time
                                                              media were in simultaneous use. Put dif-
Popular opinion is that teen media                            ferently, 77% of the time observed, teens
consumers are constantly surrounded                           were consuming media they were using
by multiple media, but the image of the                       just one at a time.
“typical” teen listening to an iPod, watch-
                                                              This level of concurrent use is lower than
ing TV, texting and browsing the Internet
                                                              Ball State researchers saw in older media
all at the same time, it turns out, is grossly
                                                              consumers in the now famous Middletown                      While teens do multi-task in their media
misrepresentative.
                                                              Media Studies research, also a product                      experience, their concurrent behavior may
In 2007, Ball State University’s Center                       of the Center for Media Design. There,                      actually be lower than it is among adults.
for Media Design conducted an obser-                          31% of adult media time was concurrent                      The myth that concurrent exposure is
vational study of teen media use, “High                       exposure.                                                   the norm, for teens in particular, sets an
                                                                                                                          important framework as we explore the
                                                                                                                          breadth of the teen media experience.




                                                                                                                                                                   2
Video: Boob Tube or YouTube?                   Figure 2: Daily U.S. Teen (12–17) Television Viewing—2003–2008
Myth: Teens are abandoning TV for               3:36:00         3:08:33                                                                 3:20:04
new media
Reality: Wrong. They’re watching more           2:24:00
TV than ever                                                    1:33:29                                                                 1:58:23
                                                1:12:00
Hands down, television is still the                             0:59:42                                                                 0:37:51
dominant medium of choice for teenagers.                                                    0:00:20                                     0:08:23
                                               0:00:00
Nielsen’s most recent A2M2 Three Screen                         2003           2004          2005              2006       2007       2008
Report showed that the typical teen tele-
                                                                                                    hh:mm:ss
vision viewer watched 104:24 (hh:mm) of
television per month in the first quarter of                              HUT/PUT Viewing Source           Ad Supported Cable Orig
2009. While less than the average for all                                 Broadcast                        DVR Playback
television viewers (153:27), it tops Nielsen
                                               Source: The Nielsen Company NPOWER, 2003–2008
estimates of teen Internet use over the
course of a month (11:32).


    The evidence that TV wins any day of the week is
    stark: Nielsen’s Convergence Panel, which looks
    at both the TV viewing and online behavior of
    panelists, showed that in Q4 2008, 92% of teen
    viewing was live TV, 5% was DVR and 3% was
    online video streaming.



In the U.S., there’s been a slight shift       Figure 3: Share of Teen (12–17) Video
in teen TV viewing from broadcast to           Minutes—TV and Online, Nielsen
ad-supported cable. In 2003, there             Convergence Panel—Q4 2008
were 19 broadcast TV programs with a
                                                                    Online Streaming
teen AA% (“rating,” or percent of teens                   DVR       3%
watching during the average minute) of                    5%                                          The most popular genres for U.S. teens
4.0 or greater. In 2008 there were just                                                               are Evening Animation, Participation/
two. In 2003, four of the top five televi-                                                            Variety and General Drama. Family Guy
sion networks for teens were broadcast                                                                and American Dad drive the animation
networks (FOX, WB, UPN, Disney, NBC),                                                                 category, while the huge popularity of
but in 2008 FOX was the only broadcast                                                                American Idol, the top U.S. show for
network to remain in that lineup (even                                                                teens in 2008, has everything to do with
with the merger of WB and UPN to CW).                                                                 Participation/Variety’s performance. Idol
In 2008, the top U.S. networks for teens                                                              was the top U.S. program among teens in
in terms of AA% were FOX, Nick-At-Nite,                                                 Live TV       2008—as it was for everyone else.
Nickelodeon, Disney and Adult Swim.                                                      92%



                                               Source: The Nielsen Company




3
TV Makes the World Go Round
Myth: U.S. teens are the world’s couch
potatoes
Reality: Far from true…South Africans                          U.S. teens actually watch less television per day than most.
and Indonesians take the prize
Compared to teens in other markets where
TV viewing is measured electronically by
Nielsen, U.S. teens actually watch less        Figure 4: Daily Teen TV Viewing by Market—2008
television per day than most. In South
                                                           6:00:00
Africa, teens averaged more than five hours                           5:02:01   4:53:55
per day of TV viewing. In Taiwan, teens                    4:48:00                          4:25:24    4:20:56
averaged just two hours and 47 minutes.                                                                          3:47:57     3:47:20
                                                hh:mm:ss   3:36:00                                                                     3:23:41 3:20:04
                                                                                                                                                         3:07:42
In terms of genre, Reality or Participation/                                                                                                                         2:47:29
Variety programs are universally appeal-                   2:24:00
ing to teenagers across the markets we
                                                           1:12:00
measure, while Sports and Information
(news) are almost universally absent                       0:00:00
among the top three rated genres. Drama,
                                                                      a



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in the form of general drama, soap operas




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and Telenovelas, tends to be more popular
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with teen viewers than comedy on a
                                               Source: The Nielsen Company
global basis.                                  Note: teen age range varies in some markets.




DVR: To Timeshift—Or Not?
Myth: Avid commercial skippers, teens          On a self-reported basis, 73% of teens                                 U.S. teenager purchased more than eight
favor the DVR                                  who use DVRs say they “always” skip                                    DVDs in 2008, but rental services are
                                               commercials, though it is likely they are                              popular in teen households: in 2008, 40%
Reality: Teens prefer their TV live
                                               exaggerating. In the same survey, 69%                                  of teen households said their home sub-
Thirty-five percent of U.S. teens had a        of total DVR users said they too always                                scribed to at least one video rental service,
DVR in their household as of May 2009,         skip commercials, but a Nielsen metered                                compared to 25% of the total population.
comparable to total U.S. penetration           analysis of 2008 DVR viewing determined
                                                                                                                      Beyond the television set, teens are in-
(32%). Yet even for DVR-owning teens,          that the typical DVR user actually watches
                                                                                                                      creasingly watching video on the “second”
just a small percentage of total TV viewing    about 40% of the commercials.
                                                                                                                      and “third” screens of online and mobile,
is time-shifted.
                                               At 17 minutes per day, teens average                                   a growth of the video experience that
Of those teens with a DVR, 41% say             about the same amount of DVD viewing                                   will drive greater reach and frequency
they record at least one program a day         as the overall TV audience (which aver-                                for marketers while expanding the teen
(compared to 54% of total TV viewers).         aged 16 minutes of DVD viewing per day                                 engagement opportunity.
The typical U.S. teen watched about            in 2008). Teens still buy DVDs, the typical
eight minutes of DVR playback per day
in 2008, less than the U.S. average of
about 12 minutes.
Teens watch more commercials, even
when time shifting, than you might think.




                                                                                                                                                                               4
Online Video                                      Figure 5: Monthly Time Spent Watching Online Videos by Age, Amongst Viewers
                                                  (hh:mm:ss)—May 2009
Myth: Teens are driving the growth of
online video
                                                                                    5:35:58
Reality: They watch less online video                                                         4:44:13
than their elders
Twelve million U.S. teens, or about two-                                                                 3:30:33
                                                                     3:05:57
thirds of those online, watched online
video in May 2009. It’s clear that online                                                                              2:05:33
                                                      1:48:43
video is becoming an important part of                                                                                             1:13:34
the overall teen viewing experience. Year
over year, the audience grew 10% and
the average number of minutes increased                K2–11         T12–17        A18–24     A25–34     A35–44        A45–54       A65+
a stunning 79%: to three hours and six
minutes per month. Torrid growth, yes,            Source: The Nielsen Company
but the average teen still lags behind
viewing of adults 18–24, adults 25–32 and         Figure 6: Top Site Categories for Online Video Consumption by Unique Audience
adults 35–44.                                     (000)—Online Video Users 12–17—May 2009
As with Internet access at large, discussed
in more detail later in this paper, the gap              10,397
between teen and adult time spent is less
an indication of lackluster interest and
more a function of access. Unlike adults,                                       3,544
many of whom spend hours of the work                                                          1,860            1,503             1,292
day with a broadband Internet connec-
tion, much of a teen’s waking moments                Videos/Movies         Community          Music         Kids, Games,     Broadcast Media
are spent in the classroom, at extracur-                                  Member Pages                          Toys              Sites
ricular activities, at a part-time job and
                                                  Source: The Nielsen Company
moving about an otherwise hyper-social
high school ecosystem. Ball State Uni-
versity’s Center for Media Design’s “High         popular source for online video. Second         websites, another favorite source of online
School Media Too” (2007) also illustrated         in popularity, “Search Engines/Portals &        video for teens, with more than 1.2 million
this point: In their study, teen participants     Communities—Member” (member pages)              unique teen visitors. About half of these
spent 40% of their waking day in school           had 3.5 million teen viewers in May 2009,       teens say they rewatch programs that
activities, 19% with media and the rest           driven by the success of Fox Interactive        they already saw on TV.
with a wide variety of non-media extra-           Media’s MySpace video audience of 2.4
curricular and home activities. Given the         million teens, and Facebook, with a video
reality of a typical teenager’s day, it is less   audience of 1.5 million.
shocking to see how they lag in time spent
                                                  What’s more, teen online video fare is not
with both online video and Internet use
                                                  limited to user-generated content. “Enter-
more broadly.
                                                  tainment—Videos/Movies” also includes
When they’re tuned in online, the top             Hulu, the increasingly popular online
category of online video for teens is             video library which allows teens to catch
“Entertainment—Videos/Movies” watched             up on favorite shows from NBC, FOX, ABC
by more than 10 million U.S. teens in May         and other networks. Hulu was the sixth
2009. This category is driven largely by          most popular destination for online video
the successful reach of YouTube, the most         among teens and second most popular in
popular source overall for online video           terms of minutes of use. “Entertainment-
for U.S. teens. Social networks are also a        Broadcast Media” includes broadcaster




5
Video on the Go                               Figure 7: Top Genres of Mobile Video Consumption by Reach—Mobile Video
                                              Viewers Ages 13–17—Q1 2009
Myth: Due to expense, mobile video is
beyond a teen’s reach                                       54%
                                               60%
                                                                             48%
Reality: Teens make up 20% of the mo-                                                        39%            37%              36%
                                               40%
bile video audience and watch more than
                                               20%
the average user
                                                 0%
Beyond the first and second screens, teens                  Music           Comedy      User-Generated     Sports          Animated
are increasingly watching video on their
                                              Source: The Nielsen Company
phones. Improved access to mobile video
through mobile Web has helped this audi-
ence to be early adopters of this otherwise   Some teens subscribe to mobile video           Beyond what we generally think of as the
cost-prohibitive video platform.              services through their carrier (about 43%      “three screens,” there is another promi-
                                              say they subscribe to mobile video), but       nent source for video consumption among
When we think of mobile video we think
                                              a larger portion of teens (68%) say they       teens: MP3 players. Globally, 34% of
expensive phones and premium plans:
                                              access mobile video through mobile Web         teens have access to an MP3 player that
a combination reserved mostly for the
                                              (note that the two means are not mutu-         can also play video. Teen access to such
enterprise-user or extravagant. But as
                                              ally exclusive). The growth of Internet        devices is considerably higher than aver-
mobile video is increasingly available
                                              access to mobile video reflects a larger       age in the U.S., where 66% of teens say
over mobile Web and on a broad range of
                                              trend in mobile video adoption, away from      there is an MP3 player in their household
phones, even teens are tuning in.
                                              subscription-based video content and           that can also play video. All said, 28%
In the first quarter of 2009, 18% of U.S.     toward “free” mobile Web or application        U.S. teens say they watch video on an
teens 13–17 with mobile phones watched        access. This trend has made mobile video       MP3 player daily. As is the case on phones,
some form of video content on their           more accessible to teens.                      music videos are the most popular form
phone. The experience has been much                                                          of video content for teen use of video
                                              On their phones, the most popular video
more popular with teen males, who make                                                       MP3 players.
                                              content for teens is “Music.” Fifty-four
up 73% of the teen mobile video audi-
                                              percent of teen mobile video users in Q1
ence. Teens who watch mobile video do so
                                              2009 watched music content on their
more than the average user—watching six
                                              phone. Comedy, User-Generated, Sports
hours and 30 minutes a month compared
                                              and Animated content round out the most
to just three hours and 37 minutes for the
                                              popular genres of third-screen viewing
typical user.
                                              among teens.


The Internet Generation
Myth: Teens are the most avid users of        of teens with Internet say they have a
the Internet                                  wireless connection at home.
Reality: Teens browse less than half as       Even with this high degree of access and
much as the typical user                      much-vaunted digital acumen, teens
                                              actually spend less time on computers
Many consider the teens of today to be
                                              and the Internet than others. As Nielsen’s
the Internet generation: Born roughly be-
                                              Q1 2009 Three Screen Report revealed,
tween 1990 and 1996, today’s teens grew
                                              the typical U.S. teenager spends 11 hours
up with a mouse in their hands. They are
                                              and 32 minutes a month on the Web, less
portrayed as Digital Natives, perpetually
                                              than half the U.S. average of 29 hours
connected, guided by both the opportuni-
                                              and 15 minutes per month. As with online
ties and constraints of worldwide con-
                                              video, this is due largely to the fact that
nectivity. Indeed, some 90% of U.S. teens
                                              teens are less likely than working adults to
have access to the Internet at home and
                                              spend their day with broadband connec-
73% have access on a school PC. Among
                                              tions and have more time constraints in
teens with Internet access at home, 55%
                                              their day than we often imagine.




                                                                                                                                      6
When you add in the time spent on ap-          Figure 8: Average Monthly Time Spent Using Internet—U.S. (hh:mm:ss)—Q1 2009
plications that use the Internet, though,
teen PC time spent increases. Overall, U.S.                                                                                                                                                                      42:35:00
teens averaged 24 hours and 54 minutes                                                                                                                                                                                                           39:27:00
per month using the Internet and applica-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         35:49:00
tions in March 2009. Compared to teens                                                                                                                                           31:37:00
in other markets in which Nielsen tracks         29:15:00                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        28:34:00
PC activity, U.S. teens use the Web and
applications more than average, though
considerably less than Brazilian teens.
Myth: Teens use the Internet in wildly                                                                                                          14:19:00
different ways than adults                                                                                    11:32:00

Reality: Teens flock to many of the same                                      5:21:00
categories and sites as adults
Across the markets, teen Internet use               Total                      K2–11                            T12–17                          A18–24                            A25–34                           A35–44                          A45–54                            A55–64                              A65+
looks a lot like the Internet use of adults.
                                               Source: The Nielsen Company
The most popular categories for teens in
most markets are general interest portals
and search—the same as for their elders.       Figure 9: Average Monthly Time Spent on Internet and Applications—
                                               Persons 12–17 (hh:mm:ss)—March 2009
Member communities (social networks
and blogs) also consistently rank among          43:50:15
the most popular categories for teens.
Within this category, MySpace and
Facebook are critical elements of the
teen experience. In the U.S., nearly half of                                 27:54:28
online teens 12–17 visited MySpace and                                                                        24:54:42 24:07:30
Facebook in May 2009 (45% and 44%,                                                                                                                                               21:12:01 20:48:50
respectively). All said, teens 12–17 ac-                                                                                                                                                                                                         18:10:20 18:04:20 17:55:26
counted for 28% of MySpace’s page views
and 12% of Facebook’s during the month.
Teens are prolific online publishers,
too. Sixty-seven percent of teen social
networkers say they update their page at            Brazil                   Australia                             U.S.                           Spain                            France                             Italy                         China                                 U.K.                   Germany
least once a week. And teens look to their
                                               Source: The Nielsen Company
social networks for much more than
gossip and photo-sharing: to teens, social
networks are a key source of information       Figure 10: Top Web Brands by Reach—Teens 12–17—March 2009
and advice in a critical developmental
period: 57% of teen social networkers                                                                         84%
                                                                                                                                                                                91%
                                                                                                                                                                                         87%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 96% 92%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         89%
                                                                             83% 79%                                   78%                     83% 80%                                                           80%                            81%                                                             82%
said they looked to their online social          76%
                                                          62% 57%
                                                                                                                                                                                                       68%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         61%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         76%
                                                                                                    56%                              57%
network for advice, making them 63%                                                                                                                                   51%                                                 52% 47%                                      55%                                                             54%

more likely to do this than the typical
social networker.
                                                 Google
                                                          Yahoo!
                                                                   YouTube
                                                                             Google
                                                                                      MSN/Windows
                                                                                                    YouTube
                                                                                                              Google
                                                                                                                       MSN/Windows
                                                                                                                                     YouTube
                                                                                                                                               Google
                                                                                                                                                        MSN/Windows
                                                                                                                                                                      YouTube
                                                                                                                                                                                Google
                                                                                                                                                                                         MSN/Windows
                                                                                                                                                                                                       YouTube
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Google
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YouTube
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    AOL Media
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Google
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         MSN/Windows
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       YouTube
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Google
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MSN/Windows
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orkut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Google
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         MSN/Windows
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Fox Interactive




    In all of the markets in which Nielsen
    tracks Internet use, Google was the top
    Web brand visited by teens in March
    2009. Yahoo!, YouTube and MSN are
    also broadly top performers among                     U.S.                        U.K.                             Italy                       France                            Spain                        Germany                            China                            Brazil                      Australia
    teen Internet users.
                                               Source: The Nielsen Company
                                                                                                                                                                                    Reach




7
Mobile: Always Connected                         Figure 12: Average Number of Monthly Texts and Phone Calls—
                                                 U.S. Mobile Teens 13–17
Myth: The only way to reach teens over
their phone is texting                           3500
                                                                                                                                                    2899
Reality: Teens text at incredible rates, but     3000
are early adopters of all mobile media            2500                                                                                  2272
                                                                                                                              1959
Increasingly, the mobile phone plays a           2000                                                              1742
                                                                                                       1514
critical role in the media lives of teens. In     1500
                                                                                           1051
                                                                                904
the U.S., 77% of teens already have their         1000                857
                                                           435
own mobile phone. Another 11% say they             500                286       280        240         238         231        239        203        191
regularly borrow one.                                0     255
                                                           Qtr 1     Qtr 2      Qtr 3      Qtr 4       Qtr 1       Qtr 2      Qtr 3      Qtr 4      Qtr 1
                                                           2007      2007       2007       2007        2008        2008       2008       2008       2009
Figure 11: U.S. Teen (13–17) Mobile
Adoption—Q4 2008                                                       Number of Calls Sent/Received           Number of Billed SMS Sent/Received
             Teen Mobile
              Borrowers                          Source: The Nielsen Company
                11%

Non-Mobile                                       More than half of all U.S. teen mobile                There is a popular notion that teens in
  Teens
   12%                                           subscribers (66%) say they actually prefer            the U.S., indeed U.S. subscribers at large,
                                                 text-messaging to calling. Thirty-four                may be far behind subscribers in other
                                                 percent say it’s the reason they got their            markets in terms of mobile data use. In
                                                 phone.                                                fact, U.S. teens have adopted mobile
                                                                                                       media more quickly than in many of the
                                                 Still, texting isn’t the only means of com-
                                  Mobile Teens                                                         markets Nielsen tracks. Consider mobile
                                     77%         municating with teens over the mobile
                                                                                                       Web: as of Q1 2009, 37% of U.S. mobile
                                                 phone. Teens are avid users of a wide
                                                                                                       subscribers 13–17 accessed the Internet on
Source: The Nielsen Company                      variety of advanced mobile data features.
                                                                                                       their phone—this ranks U.S. teens second,
                                                 More than a third of teens download
                                                                                                       behind 50% of China’s mobile teens, in
Of all the mobile behaviors of teens,            ringtones, Instant Message or use the
                                                                                                       terms of mobile Internet penetration.
texting is most talked about. Fingers flying     mobile Web, while about a quarter of U.S.
and phone cameras flashing, 83% of U.S.          teens download games and applications.                With all of this expanding mobile activity,
mobile teens use text-messaging and 56%          To a lesser extent, teens are using video             schools and parents are stepping in to
use MMS/picture messaging. The average           messaging (26%), watching mobile video                set parameters. Sixty-two percent of U.S.
U.S. mobile teen now sends or receives           (18%) and using location-based services               mobile teens say that parents have placed
an average of 2,899 text-messages per            on their phone (16%).                                 at least one restriction on their mobile
month compared to 191 calls. The aver-                                                                 use. Ninety-three percent say that their
age number of texts has gone up 566% in                                                                school has.
just two years, far surpassing the average
number of calls, which has stayed nearly
steady.




                                                                                                                                                            8
At home, 24% of teen mobile subscribers      Figure 13: Mobile Media Use by U.S. Teen 13–17 Mobile Users—Q1 2009
said they were not allowed to use the
phone at dinner, 22% were required to                   Text Messaging                                                                                        83%
make certain grades, 21% had a limited
                                                                   MMS                                                                   56%
number of minutes and 13% had a limited
                                                   Pre-installed Game                                                         45%
number of text-messages. At school,
77% of mobile teens say they are not              Ringtone Downloads                                                     43%

permitted to use their phone in class and              Instant Message                                                40%

50% are restricted from using it during                 Mobile Internet                                            37%
assemblies.                                   Screensavers Downdload                                            33%
                                                    Picture Download                                         32%
As teens around the world continue to
adopt mobile phones, mobile media and                  Game Download                                      29%

messaging, marketers will be paying               Software Download                                       29%
attention. Mobile marketing offers the                       Text Alert                                   29%
most personal and direct form of engage-                           Email                                  28%
ment for an audience that, as this paper               Video Messaging                                 26%
demonstrates, is spread broadly across the             Content Upload                                  26%
media ecosystem. Moreover, teens seem
                                                       Music Download                               23%
to be particularly open to the idea of mo-
                                                          Mobile Video                        18%
bile advertising. A 2008 study by Nielsen
found that teen mobile media users                        Online Game                         18%

were roughly three times as receptive to               Streaming Audio                       17%
mobile advertising as the total subscriber      Location-based Service                       16%
population: just over half of teen mobile                          VoIP          5%
media users considered themselves open
to mobile advertising.                       Source: The Nielsen Company


                                             Figure 14: Teen (13–17) Mobile Internet Penetration by Market—Q1 2009

                                                50%
                                                            37%
                                                                           30%
                                                                                      17%      16%        13%         11%           7%         6%    5%      3%
                                               China        U.S.      Russia          U.K.    France      Spain       Italy    Australia Germany    Brazil   India

                                             Source: The Nielsen Company




9
Theatrical                                      Figure 15: Movie Genre Preferences—U.S. Teens 12–17—2008
Myth: The silver screen is too old-fash-           85%
ioned and expensive for today’s teens                        80%

Reality: Teens go to the movies more
than any other age group                                                 52%         51%         49%      47%
Even with all the in-home and portable                                                                                41%        40%             39%
video options available, teens still love the
                                                                                                                                                            27%
Big Screen. Offered a range of in- and out-
of-home viewing options, teens said they
                                                                                                                                                                      7%
prefer seeing movies in the theater. Thirty-                                                                                                                                        5%            4%
two percent of U.S. teens ages 12–17 said


                                                   Comedy


                                                             Action &
                                                            Adventure

                                                                        Sci-Fi or
                                                                        Fantasy

                                                                                     Suspense
                                                                                    or Mystery


                                                                                                 Horror


                                                                                                          Animation


                                                                                                                      Drama


                                                                                                                                 Kids & Family


                                                                                                                                                 Romantic
                                                                                                                                                  Comedy

                                                                                                                                                            Romance


                                                                                                                                                                      Documentary


                                                                                                                                                                                    Independent


                                                                                                                                                                                                  Foreign
they prefer the movie theater above DVDs
(24%), renting online (7%) and Movies On
Demand (5%).
Overall, U.S. teens watched an average          Source: The Nielsen Company
of 31.4 movies in 2008 via all means
(compared to 25.3 for all consumers). Of        In terms of genre, comedy films reign                                         movies don’t get much love from teens—
those, the typical teen saw 10.8 movies         with U.S. teenagers. Eighty five percent                                      just 39% like romantic comedies and only
in the theater—the highest average              of U.S. teens say they are fans of the                                        about a quarter enjoy general romance
theatrical viewing of any age group. Put        comedy genre, followed closely by Action                                      movies.
differently, teens made up 14% of the           & Adventure (80%) before falling off to
                                                                                                                              R-rated comedies have grown popular
theatrical movie going audience in 2008         Sci-Fi (52%) and Suspense or Mystery
                                                                                                                              even with female teens: 79% of males
and 20% of the critical “heavy” movie-          (51%). Only about half of U.S. teen movie
                                                                                                                              17–24 and 70% of females 17–24 saw at
going segment who saw more than 10              goers say they are fans of horror, anima-
                                                                                                                              least one R-rated comedy in 2008, and
theatrical films in 2008.                       tion, drama and family movies. Romance
                                                                                                                              they want more. Fifty-seven percent of
                                                                                                                              males 17–24 and 44% of females 17–24
                                                                                                                              agreed with the statement, “Can’t Wait
                                                                                                                              for the Next One.”
                                                                                                                              As 3D movies gains some traction, many
                                                                                                                              believe teens present a strong market for
                                                                                                                              these films. In 2008, 27% of teens saw at
                                                                                                                              least one 3D movie, compared to 21% of
                                                                                                                              all movie goers. The experience resonated:
                                                                                                                              64% of teens who saw at least one 3D
                                                                                                                              movie said the experience was better than
                                                                                                                              a 2D film and 75% they have a definite
                                                                                                                              interest in seeing more films in 3D.




                                                                                                                                                                                                            10
Gaming                                         Figure 16: Average Daily Video Game Console Use—U.S.
Myth: Teens are the biggest gamers of all                  0:50:24
                                                           0:43:12                                                                                         0:41:15
Reality: Teens account for just 23% of the                                   0:34:14




                                                hh:mm:ss
                                                           0:36:00
console audience and less than 10% of                      0:28:48                                                                                         0:24:59
PC game minutes                                            0:21:36
                                                                             0:20:46

                                                           0:14:24
When we think of teen media use, gaming                                      0:07:22                                                                       0:09:15
                                                           0:07:12
is often one of the first activities that                                    0:06:41                                                                       0:08:02
                                                           0:00:00
comes to mind. Over the course of the                                        2003           2004             2005          2006              2007           2008
past 20 years, though, the gaming audi-
ence has broadened. New devices and                                              Females 12–17         Males 12–17          Persons 12–17           Persons 2+
games have extended gaming beyond
                                               Source: The Nielsen Company
boys to girls, young adults, and—with the
introduction of Nintendo’s Wii—people          Figure 17: Video Game Console and Handheld Use—
on the younger and older sides of the          Past 30 Days, Persons 15–20—2008
demographic spectrum. In the fourth
                                                60%
quarter of 2008, teens 12–17 made up just                                               48%
                                                                                                             41%
23% of the U.S. console gaming audience         40%            28%                            22%                   19%           20%
and they accounted for fewer than 10%           20%                     14%
                                                                                                                                        3%            7%     8%
of all of the PC game minutes played in a          0%
                                                                     Total             North America          Europe           Latin America         Asia-Pacific
typical month.
Though the gaming audience has broad-                                          A console video game system                A handheld video game system
ened, console, PC and handheld gaming          Source: The Nielsen Company
still plays a prominent role in the media
lives of teens.                                Though 25 minutes is a daily average,                            Myth: Teen gamers spend all their time
                                               gaming tends to be a more sporadic activ-                        playing “Mature” shooter games
From a console gaming perspective,
                                               ity than, say, TV viewing. When teens do
system access is nearly ubiquitous for                                                                          Reality: Just two of the top five “most
                                               sit down to play—they play for a while.
U.S. teens. Today, 83% of teens have at                                                                         anticipated” games among teens since
                                               Nielsen estimates that the typical teen
least one console in their home. Seventy-                                                                       2005 were rated Mature
                                               console gamer will use a console just
five percent of males 12–17 and 57% of
                                               seven days out of the month, but do so for                       Of the top five most anticipated video
females 12–17 played console video games
                                               more than an hour each session. Xbox 360                         games among teens since 2005, just two
at least once during the fourth quarter
                                               is the most popular video game console                           were rated Mature by the ESRB (Entertain-
of 2008 (compared to 36% of the total
                                               among teens—accounting for 29% of all                            ment Software Rating Board), two were
population age two and older). Male and
                                               their minutes of play.                                           rated Teen and one was rated Everyone.
female teen gaming was up from 70% and
                                                                                                                The most anticipated video game among
47% from a year prior, respectively.           Handheld video game systems are also
                                                                                                                gamers 13–17 since 2005 has been Halo 3,
                                               popular with teens, particularly in the
The typical U.S. teen used a video game                                                                         a first-person shooter game rated Mature
                                               U.S. Globally, 30% of teens have access
console an average of 25 minutes per day                                                                        by the ESRB. At its peak, 61% of active
                                               to a handheld video game system. In the
in 2008, for gaming or other multimedia                                                                         gamers said they had a definite interest in
                                               U.S. penetration of these devices is much
uses—an average that has increased over                                                                         Halo 3. The other Mature rated game in
                                               higher: 73% of U.S. teens had a portable
the past five years as a new generation                                                                         the top five was Grand Theft Auto IV
                                               gaming device in their household in 2008.
of video game consoles brought forth a                                                                          which, with a 37% “definite interest”
richer gaming experience and offered new       Understanding what teens play on their                           among teens, tied Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
cross-media functionality. The average         video game systems might change the                              (rated Teen) for the second most antici-
daily console use is considerably higher for   perspective on teen gaming. The notion                           pated video game. Mario Party 7 (33%)
teen boys (41 minutes) than for teen girls     that teens spend all of their gaming time                        and Guitar Hero: World Tour (32%) round
(8 minutes).                                   as first person shooters is false. Indeed,                       out the list of the five most anticipated
                                               teens spend just some of their time shoot-                       games. Play-along music and fantasy
                                               ing one another up.                                              driving games, it turns out, are as relevant
                                                                                                                to the teen gaming experience as first-
                                                                                                                person shooter games.




11
Music & Radio                                                     Figure 19: Portable Media Device Use by Region—Past 30 Days,
                                                                  Persons 15–20—2008
Myth: With MP3 players and PCs, teens
no longer rely on radio                                                                          57%                 49%
                                                                   60%       44%                                           40%            45%
                                                                   40%             24%                                                                         31%
Reality: Radio is the top source of music                          20%
                                                                                                       20%                                      20%                  13%
consumption for 16% of teens globally                               0%
                                                                               Total               Europe           North America        Latin America         Asia-Pacific
and the secondary source for another
21%.
                                                                                       A portable/handheld music-only MP3 player or digital audio player
It’s sometimes said that “music defines                                                A portable/handheld multimedia device that plays both music and video
a generation.” If that is the case, it may
                                                                  Source: The Nielsen Company
not be the genre of music, but the mode
of consumption that defines today’s                               Not totally lost to digital, radio is still the         Figure 20: Top Ten Radio Formats—
teenagers. While radio, records, 8-tracks,                        primary source of music consumption                     U.S. Persons 18–20—2008
cassettes and CD players had their gen-                           for 16% of teens and a secondary source
erations, this is the generation of the MP3                       for 21% of teens, globally. Considering                  Format                                    Listen
player. Already today, the MP3 player is                          that teens may find themselves in older                  Pop Contemporary Hit Radio                  40%
the top method of music consumption                               cars not yet equipped to play from their                 Rhythmic Contemporary Hit
for teens around the world. Thirty-nine                           MP3 player and that radio still serves                                                               33%
                                                                                                                           Radio
percent of teens globally say it is their                         as an information source for local social
                                                                                                                           Country                                     20%
primary method of listening to music, fol-                        happenings of extra relevance to teens,
lowed not by CDs or radio, but the home                           some degree of radio listenership should                 Urban Contemporary                          18%
computer, which is the primary source of                          be expected. And while not the most                      Alternative                                 16%
music for 33% of teens globally. Forty-five                       popular source of audio consumption,
                                                                                                                           Hot AC                                      12%
percent of teens globally say they listen to                      radio preferences can still give us a
five or more hours of music per week on                           broader perspective into the musical                     Active Rock                                 11%
their computer; 12% say they listen to 20                         tastes of today’s teens.                                 Adult Contemporary                          10%
hours or more.                                                                                                             Classic Rock                                 9%
                                                                  In the U.S., a 2008 study by Scarborough
Figure 18: Top Methods of Teen Music                              Research showed that “Pop Contemporary                   Album Oriented Rock                          7%
Consumption—Globally,                                             Hit Radio” was the most popular format
                                                                                                                          Source: Scarborough Research
Persons 15–20—2008                                                among older teens 18–20 (listened to by
                                                                  40% of this segment), followed by Rhyth-
                         Office
                       Computer 2%
                                                                  mic Contemporary and Country.                           The News/Information radio genre
                                     Television 2%                                                                        performs relatively poorly with 18–20
                   Other 4%
       Home Audio 5%                                                                                                      year-olds. Just 4% of persons 18–20 said
Radio at Home 6%
                                                     MP3 Player                                                           they listened to News/Information sta-
                                                       39%
                                                                                                                          tions in 2008, compared to 20% of the
 Car Radio 10%
                                                                                                                          total population.
                                                                                                                          Beyond digital tracks and broadcast, many
                                                                                                                          teens still purchase music in hard formats,
                                                                                                                          as well. Whether it’s the allure of the
      Home Computer
          33%                                                                                                             album art and lyric book or an affinity for
                                                                                                                          still owning music in a physical form, 75%
Source: The Nielsen Company                                                                                               of teens globally say they listen to at least
                                                                                                                          some CDs each week, according to a 2008
Globally, nearly half of teens (44%) use                                                                                  global survey by Nielsen. Twenty-percent
a music-only MP3 player and a quarter                                                                                     still listen to five hours or more. Around
say they use one that plays both music                                                                                    the world, the typical teen purchased
and video. In North America, teen use of                                                                                  more than three CDs in 2008, though the
MP3 players that also play video is slightly                                                                              average was less in North America, where
higher, where 40% of teens do so.                                                                                         the typical teen purchased just over two,
                                                                                                                          on average.




                                                                                                                                                                             12
Newspapers
Myth: Teens wouldn’t know a newspaper
if the paperboy hit them in the face
Reality: More than a quarter of U.S.
teens say they read a daily newspaper
and more than a third say they read on
Sunday
As some newspapers shut down and             Figure 21: Newspaper Readership—
pundits predict the downfall of others, a    U.S. Persons 18–20—2008
popular perception is that a new genera-
tion of media consumers can be blamed          60%                                                                   50%
                                                        45%
for the decline and fall of print media.      40%          29%                                                             34%

It’s true, older teens 18–20 measured by       20%
                                                                            2% 2%         2% 2%        2% 1%                      3% 3%
Scarborough Research were less likely to        0%
read a daily paper than average, but still             Any Daily            New York   USA Today      Wall Street   Any Sunday     Sunday
more than a quarter (29%) of U.S. persons              Newspaper             Times                     Journal      Newspaper     New York
                                                                                                                                    Times
18–20 say they read a daily newspaper on
an average day. About a third, 34%, say                                                   P18+            P18–20
they read a paper on an average Sunday.
                                             Source: Scarborough Research


Advertising
Myth: Most advertising to teens is for       Figure 22: Top Advertiser Categories                  Beyond the top categories advertising to
junk-food and entertainment                  Across 14 Teen Magazines                              teens in these publications, we looked
                                                                                                   also at the top individual advertisers. The
Reality: Advertisers are more likely to                                        2008-$$$            top 10 advertisers in these teen publica-
target teens with messages about health       Product Category                 (Millions)          tions spent a combined $70 million to
and beauty
                                              APPAREL                           $40,048            reach this audience in 2008. Procter &
Teens are a natural focus for many            FRAGRANCES-                                          Gamble, no doubt hoping to earn CPG
marketers: with both direct expendable                                          $14,634            customers for life, spent an estimated
                                              WOMEN
income and a substantial amount of influ-                                                          $16.7 million across these 14 teen-centric
                                              ENTERTAINMENT
ence over household purchases, engaging                                         $13,956            publications. The U.S. Government, which
                                              SFTWRE
teens around a brand can have a substan-                                                           Nielsen estimates spent more than $5
tial impact.                                  SPORTING                                             million to reach teens across these 14
                                                                                 $9,998
                                              FOOTWEAR                                             publications, was also among the top ten
In order to get a better understanding of
                                              STORE-DEPT                         $8,634            advertisers. The government’s investment
which advertisers and categories have
                                                                                                   to reach teens was spread across anti-drug
been trying to reach teenagers, on one        STORE-APPAREL                      $8,592
                                                                                                   campaigns ($2.6 million), military recruit-
medium at least, we analyzed the top          SHOES                              $8,190            ment ($2.4 million) and environmental
advertising spenders in 2008 across 14
                                              LIPSTICK                           $6,384            protection ($59,000).
teen-centric magazines in the U.S. The
results show that, contrary to the notion     ANTIPERSP-DEOD                     $5,010
that teens are being bombarded with mes-      MASCARA                            $4,949
sages about junk food and entertainment,
                                              Total Among These
the highest concentration of advertising                                        $120,396
                                              Categories
to teens is around “image” products
such as apparel and beauty. All together,     Total Within These
                                                                                $247,556
Nielsen estimates that more than $240         Publications
million were spent across these 14 teen      Source: The Nielsen Company
magazines in 2008. Apparel advertisers
spent the largest share, $40 million.




13
Nielsen How Teens Use Media June 09
Nielsen How Teens Use Media June 09
Nielsen How Teens Use Media June 09

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Nielsen How Teens Use Media June 09

  • 1. June 2009 How Teens Use Media A Nielsen report on the myths and realities of teen media trends INSIDE: How teens use… TV, Online and Mobile Video Internet Mobile Phones Games Movies Music Advertising
  • 2. Executive Summary It’s easy to get caught up in the hype • Teens watch less online video than In a word, teens are “normal.” around teenagers. The notion that teens most adults, but the ads are highly It’s true: the media universe is expanding are too busy texting and Twittering to be engaging to them: Teens spend 35% for teens. Social networks play an in- engaged with traditional media is excit- less time watching online video than creasingly important role (about half of ing, but false. adults 25–34, but recall ads better when U.S. teens use Facebook) and now many watching TV shows online than they do To develop the best strategy around teens access the Web over their phones on television. teens and media, start by challenging (37% in the U.S.) Teens time-shift popular assumptions about teens. Don’t • Teens read newspapers, listen to the video with DVRs and they place-shift focus on the outliers, but on the macro- radio and even like advertising more on their video MP3 players. Yet teens level trends of media and preferences for than most: Teens who recall TV ads are are not unique in this media revolution. the segment. The averages will show you 44% more likely to say they liked the ad. The media experience has evolved and that teens can often be reached by the cross-platform engagement will be criti- • Teens play video games, but are as same means as their parents. cal to reaching all consumers, not just excited about play-along music games teens. Media innovations have impacted In this report, “How Teens Use Media,” and car-racing games as they are about everyone’s experience—not just the High we debunk the myths and give you the violent ones: Just two of their top five School Musical set. hard facts. most-anticipated games since 2005 are rated “Mature.” So don’t reconfigure the playbook. • Teens are NOT abandoning TV for Discard the assumption that, as a rule, new media: In fact, they watch more • Teens’ favorite TV shows, top websites teens are “alien” and plan for them as TV than ever, up 6% over the past five and genre preferences across media you would any demographic segment— years in the U.S. are mostly the same as those of their with careful attention and calculus, not parents: For U.S. teens, American Idol • Teens love the Internet…but spend panic. Keep your eye on the averages, was the top show in 2008, Google the far less time browsing than adults: keep your head on your shoulders, and top website and general dramas are a Teens spend 11 hours and 32 minutes before you rewire your system, remind preferred TV genre for teens around per month online—far below the yourself: Teens are people, too. the world. average of 29 hours and 15 minutes. Introduction Ephebiphobia is the irrational fear of We sometimes fall prey to the notion Globally, there are more than 1.2 billion youth, rooted in the Greek “ephebos” for that teen habits are changing so quickly people ages 10–19, according to the U.S. youth, and “phobos,” for, well, phobia. and dramatically that they run counter to Census. Of those, there are about 33 While the term was coined just 15 years broader cultural trends, are unknowable million teenagers ages 13–19 in the United ago, a curiosity and mystique around and unmeasurable, constantly evading our States. Beyond sheer mass, this demo- youth and their behavior has long been understanding and engagement. graphic wields tremendous influence—on a cultural obsession. Consider these their peers, their parents and the culture The fact is, teens are unique, but they are Newsweek covers over the decades: “Let’s at large. As well, the formative nature of not as bizarre and outlying as some might Face It: Our Teenagers Are Out of Control” their years has implications for everything presume. Sure, they are the digital natives, in 1954; “The Teenagers: A Survey of What from consumer packaged goods marketing super-communicators and multi-taskers They’re Really Like” in 1966; “The Secret to the democratic process. we hear so much about, but they are also Life of Teens” in 1999 and “Why Teens Do the TV viewers, newspaper readers and Understanding the reality of how teens Stupid Things” in 2006, reflecting society’s radio listeners that some assume they are use media is critical—not just for business, long-held view that teens are downright not. What we have found, across a variety but for civic, cultural and social pursuits. troublesome—or a form of alien life. of studies, is that teens embrace new This paper examines teens in the U.S. and In media and marketing, ephebiphobia media not at the cost of traditional media, in many of the international markets that shows up in the constant and frenetic but in supplement to it. Taken on whole, Nielsen measures. Our findings challenge quest to understand how teens use media, teens exhibit media habits that are more a whole host of assumptions about the made murky by assumptions that teens similar to the total population than not. media habits of this generation—offering somehow behave radically differently a few surprises as we separate myth than their parents and other consumers. from reality. 1
  • 3. A Day in the Life First, let’s look at a snapshot of how a typical teen might spend a media day, based on a variety of Nielsen sources: Video consumption, led by TV viewing, is the centerpiece of teen media consumption. Figure 1: A Day In The Life^ Media Consumption of a Typical U.S. Teenager as measured by Nielsen Of course there is no “typical” teen- age consumer, just as really there is no PC typical consumer overall. The segmented TV Video on an MP3 52 minutes Mobile Voice behavior of extreme teen users, teens 3 hours, Player including 6 minutes of different races or genders and teens 20 minutes 1 in 4 watched applications in different regions, internationally and Audio-Only MP3 domestically, is poorly represented by DVR Internet Text-Messages Player averages. But what averages conceal in 8 minutes 23 minutes 96 sent or received 1 in 2 used variation, they make up for it in perspec- Mobile video tive. A summary view of media behavior is Online video particularly useful when examining teens, DVD If they watched, Newspaper If they watched, since you may know or envision outliers of 17 minutes watched for 13 1 in 4 read watched 6 minutes this segment and mistake their behavior minutes as representative. PC Games Movie Theater Console Gaming Mobile Web 1 in 10 played, Went once in the 25 minutes 1 in 3 used today past 5 weeks ^For directional purposes only, this table estimates daily U.S. teen media use across a variety of platforms based on a range of Nielsen sources from 2008 and Q1 2009. Details of these estimates are contained in the body of this paper. Source: The Nielsen Company More Focused Than You Think Myth: Teens use media—10 screens at School Media Too,” (2007). In the study, a time researchers found that 23% of the media time among observed teens was concur- Reality: Teens are more likely than adults rent media exposure, where two or more to use their media one at a time media were in simultaneous use. Put dif- Popular opinion is that teen media ferently, 77% of the time observed, teens consumers are constantly surrounded were consuming media they were using by multiple media, but the image of the just one at a time. “typical” teen listening to an iPod, watch- This level of concurrent use is lower than ing TV, texting and browsing the Internet Ball State researchers saw in older media all at the same time, it turns out, is grossly consumers in the now famous Middletown While teens do multi-task in their media misrepresentative. Media Studies research, also a product experience, their concurrent behavior may In 2007, Ball State University’s Center of the Center for Media Design. There, actually be lower than it is among adults. for Media Design conducted an obser- 31% of adult media time was concurrent The myth that concurrent exposure is vational study of teen media use, “High exposure. the norm, for teens in particular, sets an important framework as we explore the breadth of the teen media experience. 2
  • 4. Video: Boob Tube or YouTube? Figure 2: Daily U.S. Teen (12–17) Television Viewing—2003–2008 Myth: Teens are abandoning TV for 3:36:00 3:08:33 3:20:04 new media Reality: Wrong. They’re watching more 2:24:00 TV than ever 1:33:29 1:58:23 1:12:00 Hands down, television is still the 0:59:42 0:37:51 dominant medium of choice for teenagers. 0:00:20 0:08:23 0:00:00 Nielsen’s most recent A2M2 Three Screen 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Report showed that the typical teen tele- hh:mm:ss vision viewer watched 104:24 (hh:mm) of television per month in the first quarter of HUT/PUT Viewing Source Ad Supported Cable Orig 2009. While less than the average for all Broadcast DVR Playback television viewers (153:27), it tops Nielsen Source: The Nielsen Company NPOWER, 2003–2008 estimates of teen Internet use over the course of a month (11:32). The evidence that TV wins any day of the week is stark: Nielsen’s Convergence Panel, which looks at both the TV viewing and online behavior of panelists, showed that in Q4 2008, 92% of teen viewing was live TV, 5% was DVR and 3% was online video streaming. In the U.S., there’s been a slight shift Figure 3: Share of Teen (12–17) Video in teen TV viewing from broadcast to Minutes—TV and Online, Nielsen ad-supported cable. In 2003, there Convergence Panel—Q4 2008 were 19 broadcast TV programs with a Online Streaming teen AA% (“rating,” or percent of teens DVR 3% watching during the average minute) of 5% The most popular genres for U.S. teens 4.0 or greater. In 2008 there were just are Evening Animation, Participation/ two. In 2003, four of the top five televi- Variety and General Drama. Family Guy sion networks for teens were broadcast and American Dad drive the animation networks (FOX, WB, UPN, Disney, NBC), category, while the huge popularity of but in 2008 FOX was the only broadcast American Idol, the top U.S. show for network to remain in that lineup (even teens in 2008, has everything to do with with the merger of WB and UPN to CW). Participation/Variety’s performance. Idol In 2008, the top U.S. networks for teens was the top U.S. program among teens in in terms of AA% were FOX, Nick-At-Nite, Live TV 2008—as it was for everyone else. Nickelodeon, Disney and Adult Swim. 92% Source: The Nielsen Company 3
  • 5. TV Makes the World Go Round Myth: U.S. teens are the world’s couch potatoes Reality: Far from true…South Africans U.S. teens actually watch less television per day than most. and Indonesians take the prize Compared to teens in other markets where TV viewing is measured electronically by Nielsen, U.S. teens actually watch less Figure 4: Daily Teen TV Viewing by Market—2008 television per day than most. In South 6:00:00 Africa, teens averaged more than five hours 5:02:01 4:53:55 per day of TV viewing. In Taiwan, teens 4:48:00 4:25:24 4:20:56 averaged just two hours and 47 minutes. 3:47:57 3:47:20 hh:mm:ss 3:36:00 3:23:41 3:20:04 3:07:42 In terms of genre, Reality or Participation/ 2:47:29 Variety programs are universally appeal- 2:24:00 ing to teenagers across the markets we 1:12:00 measure, while Sports and Information (news) are almost universally absent 0:00:00 among the top three rated genres. Drama, a la sia nd n d ly es ia an ric no an l ue Ita at ra iw in the form of general drama, soap operas la ne Af l ba St ez st Ire Po Ta do Au Le h n d ut Ve In ite and Telenovelas, tends to be more popular So Un with teen viewers than comedy on a Source: The Nielsen Company global basis. Note: teen age range varies in some markets. DVR: To Timeshift—Or Not? Myth: Avid commercial skippers, teens On a self-reported basis, 73% of teens U.S. teenager purchased more than eight favor the DVR who use DVRs say they “always” skip DVDs in 2008, but rental services are commercials, though it is likely they are popular in teen households: in 2008, 40% Reality: Teens prefer their TV live exaggerating. In the same survey, 69% of teen households said their home sub- Thirty-five percent of U.S. teens had a of total DVR users said they too always scribed to at least one video rental service, DVR in their household as of May 2009, skip commercials, but a Nielsen metered compared to 25% of the total population. comparable to total U.S. penetration analysis of 2008 DVR viewing determined Beyond the television set, teens are in- (32%). Yet even for DVR-owning teens, that the typical DVR user actually watches creasingly watching video on the “second” just a small percentage of total TV viewing about 40% of the commercials. and “third” screens of online and mobile, is time-shifted. At 17 minutes per day, teens average a growth of the video experience that Of those teens with a DVR, 41% say about the same amount of DVD viewing will drive greater reach and frequency they record at least one program a day as the overall TV audience (which aver- for marketers while expanding the teen (compared to 54% of total TV viewers). aged 16 minutes of DVD viewing per day engagement opportunity. The typical U.S. teen watched about in 2008). Teens still buy DVDs, the typical eight minutes of DVR playback per day in 2008, less than the U.S. average of about 12 minutes. Teens watch more commercials, even when time shifting, than you might think. 4
  • 6. Online Video Figure 5: Monthly Time Spent Watching Online Videos by Age, Amongst Viewers (hh:mm:ss)—May 2009 Myth: Teens are driving the growth of online video 5:35:58 Reality: They watch less online video 4:44:13 than their elders Twelve million U.S. teens, or about two- 3:30:33 3:05:57 thirds of those online, watched online video in May 2009. It’s clear that online 2:05:33 1:48:43 video is becoming an important part of 1:13:34 the overall teen viewing experience. Year over year, the audience grew 10% and the average number of minutes increased K2–11 T12–17 A18–24 A25–34 A35–44 A45–54 A65+ a stunning 79%: to three hours and six minutes per month. Torrid growth, yes, Source: The Nielsen Company but the average teen still lags behind viewing of adults 18–24, adults 25–32 and Figure 6: Top Site Categories for Online Video Consumption by Unique Audience adults 35–44. (000)—Online Video Users 12–17—May 2009 As with Internet access at large, discussed in more detail later in this paper, the gap 10,397 between teen and adult time spent is less an indication of lackluster interest and more a function of access. Unlike adults, 3,544 many of whom spend hours of the work 1,860 1,503 1,292 day with a broadband Internet connec- tion, much of a teen’s waking moments Videos/Movies Community Music Kids, Games, Broadcast Media are spent in the classroom, at extracur- Member Pages Toys Sites ricular activities, at a part-time job and Source: The Nielsen Company moving about an otherwise hyper-social high school ecosystem. Ball State Uni- versity’s Center for Media Design’s “High popular source for online video. Second websites, another favorite source of online School Media Too” (2007) also illustrated in popularity, “Search Engines/Portals & video for teens, with more than 1.2 million this point: In their study, teen participants Communities—Member” (member pages) unique teen visitors. About half of these spent 40% of their waking day in school had 3.5 million teen viewers in May 2009, teens say they rewatch programs that activities, 19% with media and the rest driven by the success of Fox Interactive they already saw on TV. with a wide variety of non-media extra- Media’s MySpace video audience of 2.4 curricular and home activities. Given the million teens, and Facebook, with a video reality of a typical teenager’s day, it is less audience of 1.5 million. shocking to see how they lag in time spent What’s more, teen online video fare is not with both online video and Internet use limited to user-generated content. “Enter- more broadly. tainment—Videos/Movies” also includes When they’re tuned in online, the top Hulu, the increasingly popular online category of online video for teens is video library which allows teens to catch “Entertainment—Videos/Movies” watched up on favorite shows from NBC, FOX, ABC by more than 10 million U.S. teens in May and other networks. Hulu was the sixth 2009. This category is driven largely by most popular destination for online video the successful reach of YouTube, the most among teens and second most popular in popular source overall for online video terms of minutes of use. “Entertainment- for U.S. teens. Social networks are also a Broadcast Media” includes broadcaster 5
  • 7. Video on the Go Figure 7: Top Genres of Mobile Video Consumption by Reach—Mobile Video Viewers Ages 13–17—Q1 2009 Myth: Due to expense, mobile video is beyond a teen’s reach 54% 60% 48% Reality: Teens make up 20% of the mo- 39% 37% 36% 40% bile video audience and watch more than 20% the average user 0% Beyond the first and second screens, teens Music Comedy User-Generated Sports Animated are increasingly watching video on their Source: The Nielsen Company phones. Improved access to mobile video through mobile Web has helped this audi- ence to be early adopters of this otherwise Some teens subscribe to mobile video Beyond what we generally think of as the cost-prohibitive video platform. services through their carrier (about 43% “three screens,” there is another promi- say they subscribe to mobile video), but nent source for video consumption among When we think of mobile video we think a larger portion of teens (68%) say they teens: MP3 players. Globally, 34% of expensive phones and premium plans: access mobile video through mobile Web teens have access to an MP3 player that a combination reserved mostly for the (note that the two means are not mutu- can also play video. Teen access to such enterprise-user or extravagant. But as ally exclusive). The growth of Internet devices is considerably higher than aver- mobile video is increasingly available access to mobile video reflects a larger age in the U.S., where 66% of teens say over mobile Web and on a broad range of trend in mobile video adoption, away from there is an MP3 player in their household phones, even teens are tuning in. subscription-based video content and that can also play video. All said, 28% In the first quarter of 2009, 18% of U.S. toward “free” mobile Web or application U.S. teens say they watch video on an teens 13–17 with mobile phones watched access. This trend has made mobile video MP3 player daily. As is the case on phones, some form of video content on their more accessible to teens. music videos are the most popular form phone. The experience has been much of video content for teen use of video On their phones, the most popular video more popular with teen males, who make MP3 players. content for teens is “Music.” Fifty-four up 73% of the teen mobile video audi- percent of teen mobile video users in Q1 ence. Teens who watch mobile video do so 2009 watched music content on their more than the average user—watching six phone. Comedy, User-Generated, Sports hours and 30 minutes a month compared and Animated content round out the most to just three hours and 37 minutes for the popular genres of third-screen viewing typical user. among teens. The Internet Generation Myth: Teens are the most avid users of of teens with Internet say they have a the Internet wireless connection at home. Reality: Teens browse less than half as Even with this high degree of access and much as the typical user much-vaunted digital acumen, teens actually spend less time on computers Many consider the teens of today to be and the Internet than others. As Nielsen’s the Internet generation: Born roughly be- Q1 2009 Three Screen Report revealed, tween 1990 and 1996, today’s teens grew the typical U.S. teenager spends 11 hours up with a mouse in their hands. They are and 32 minutes a month on the Web, less portrayed as Digital Natives, perpetually than half the U.S. average of 29 hours connected, guided by both the opportuni- and 15 minutes per month. As with online ties and constraints of worldwide con- video, this is due largely to the fact that nectivity. Indeed, some 90% of U.S. teens teens are less likely than working adults to have access to the Internet at home and spend their day with broadband connec- 73% have access on a school PC. Among tions and have more time constraints in teens with Internet access at home, 55% their day than we often imagine. 6
  • 8. When you add in the time spent on ap- Figure 8: Average Monthly Time Spent Using Internet—U.S. (hh:mm:ss)—Q1 2009 plications that use the Internet, though, teen PC time spent increases. Overall, U.S. 42:35:00 teens averaged 24 hours and 54 minutes 39:27:00 per month using the Internet and applica- 35:49:00 tions in March 2009. Compared to teens 31:37:00 in other markets in which Nielsen tracks 29:15:00 28:34:00 PC activity, U.S. teens use the Web and applications more than average, though considerably less than Brazilian teens. Myth: Teens use the Internet in wildly 14:19:00 different ways than adults 11:32:00 Reality: Teens flock to many of the same 5:21:00 categories and sites as adults Across the markets, teen Internet use Total K2–11 T12–17 A18–24 A25–34 A35–44 A45–54 A55–64 A65+ looks a lot like the Internet use of adults. Source: The Nielsen Company The most popular categories for teens in most markets are general interest portals and search—the same as for their elders. Figure 9: Average Monthly Time Spent on Internet and Applications— Persons 12–17 (hh:mm:ss)—March 2009 Member communities (social networks and blogs) also consistently rank among 43:50:15 the most popular categories for teens. Within this category, MySpace and Facebook are critical elements of the teen experience. In the U.S., nearly half of 27:54:28 online teens 12–17 visited MySpace and 24:54:42 24:07:30 Facebook in May 2009 (45% and 44%, 21:12:01 20:48:50 respectively). All said, teens 12–17 ac- 18:10:20 18:04:20 17:55:26 counted for 28% of MySpace’s page views and 12% of Facebook’s during the month. Teens are prolific online publishers, too. Sixty-seven percent of teen social networkers say they update their page at Brazil Australia U.S. Spain France Italy China U.K. Germany least once a week. And teens look to their Source: The Nielsen Company social networks for much more than gossip and photo-sharing: to teens, social networks are a key source of information Figure 10: Top Web Brands by Reach—Teens 12–17—March 2009 and advice in a critical developmental period: 57% of teen social networkers 84% 91% 87% 96% 92% 89% 83% 79% 78% 83% 80% 80% 81% 82% said they looked to their online social 76% 62% 57% 68% 61% 76% 56% 57% network for advice, making them 63% 51% 52% 47% 55% 54% more likely to do this than the typical social networker. Google Yahoo! YouTube Google MSN/Windows YouTube Google MSN/Windows YouTube Google MSN/Windows YouTube Google MSN/Windows YouTube Google YouTube AOL Media Google MSN/Windows YouTube Google MSN/Windows Orkut Google MSN/Windows Fox Interactive In all of the markets in which Nielsen tracks Internet use, Google was the top Web brand visited by teens in March 2009. Yahoo!, YouTube and MSN are also broadly top performers among U.S. U.K. Italy France Spain Germany China Brazil Australia teen Internet users. Source: The Nielsen Company Reach 7
  • 9. Mobile: Always Connected Figure 12: Average Number of Monthly Texts and Phone Calls— U.S. Mobile Teens 13–17 Myth: The only way to reach teens over their phone is texting 3500 2899 Reality: Teens text at incredible rates, but 3000 are early adopters of all mobile media 2500 2272 1959 Increasingly, the mobile phone plays a 2000 1742 1514 critical role in the media lives of teens. In 1500 1051 904 the U.S., 77% of teens already have their 1000 857 435 own mobile phone. Another 11% say they 500 286 280 240 238 231 239 203 191 regularly borrow one. 0 255 Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Qtr 1 2007 2007 2007 2007 2008 2008 2008 2008 2009 Figure 11: U.S. Teen (13–17) Mobile Adoption—Q4 2008 Number of Calls Sent/Received Number of Billed SMS Sent/Received Teen Mobile Borrowers Source: The Nielsen Company 11% Non-Mobile More than half of all U.S. teen mobile There is a popular notion that teens in Teens 12% subscribers (66%) say they actually prefer the U.S., indeed U.S. subscribers at large, text-messaging to calling. Thirty-four may be far behind subscribers in other percent say it’s the reason they got their markets in terms of mobile data use. In phone. fact, U.S. teens have adopted mobile media more quickly than in many of the Still, texting isn’t the only means of com- Mobile Teens markets Nielsen tracks. Consider mobile 77% municating with teens over the mobile Web: as of Q1 2009, 37% of U.S. mobile phone. Teens are avid users of a wide subscribers 13–17 accessed the Internet on Source: The Nielsen Company variety of advanced mobile data features. their phone—this ranks U.S. teens second, More than a third of teens download behind 50% of China’s mobile teens, in Of all the mobile behaviors of teens, ringtones, Instant Message or use the terms of mobile Internet penetration. texting is most talked about. Fingers flying mobile Web, while about a quarter of U.S. and phone cameras flashing, 83% of U.S. teens download games and applications. With all of this expanding mobile activity, mobile teens use text-messaging and 56% To a lesser extent, teens are using video schools and parents are stepping in to use MMS/picture messaging. The average messaging (26%), watching mobile video set parameters. Sixty-two percent of U.S. U.S. mobile teen now sends or receives (18%) and using location-based services mobile teens say that parents have placed an average of 2,899 text-messages per on their phone (16%). at least one restriction on their mobile month compared to 191 calls. The aver- use. Ninety-three percent say that their age number of texts has gone up 566% in school has. just two years, far surpassing the average number of calls, which has stayed nearly steady. 8
  • 10. At home, 24% of teen mobile subscribers Figure 13: Mobile Media Use by U.S. Teen 13–17 Mobile Users—Q1 2009 said they were not allowed to use the phone at dinner, 22% were required to Text Messaging 83% make certain grades, 21% had a limited MMS 56% number of minutes and 13% had a limited Pre-installed Game 45% number of text-messages. At school, 77% of mobile teens say they are not Ringtone Downloads 43% permitted to use their phone in class and Instant Message 40% 50% are restricted from using it during Mobile Internet 37% assemblies. Screensavers Downdload 33% Picture Download 32% As teens around the world continue to adopt mobile phones, mobile media and Game Download 29% messaging, marketers will be paying Software Download 29% attention. Mobile marketing offers the Text Alert 29% most personal and direct form of engage- Email 28% ment for an audience that, as this paper Video Messaging 26% demonstrates, is spread broadly across the Content Upload 26% media ecosystem. Moreover, teens seem Music Download 23% to be particularly open to the idea of mo- Mobile Video 18% bile advertising. A 2008 study by Nielsen found that teen mobile media users Online Game 18% were roughly three times as receptive to Streaming Audio 17% mobile advertising as the total subscriber Location-based Service 16% population: just over half of teen mobile VoIP 5% media users considered themselves open to mobile advertising. Source: The Nielsen Company Figure 14: Teen (13–17) Mobile Internet Penetration by Market—Q1 2009 50% 37% 30% 17% 16% 13% 11% 7% 6% 5% 3% China U.S. Russia U.K. France Spain Italy Australia Germany Brazil India Source: The Nielsen Company 9
  • 11. Theatrical Figure 15: Movie Genre Preferences—U.S. Teens 12–17—2008 Myth: The silver screen is too old-fash- 85% ioned and expensive for today’s teens 80% Reality: Teens go to the movies more than any other age group 52% 51% 49% 47% Even with all the in-home and portable 41% 40% 39% video options available, teens still love the 27% Big Screen. Offered a range of in- and out- of-home viewing options, teens said they 7% prefer seeing movies in the theater. Thirty- 5% 4% two percent of U.S. teens ages 12–17 said Comedy Action & Adventure Sci-Fi or Fantasy Suspense or Mystery Horror Animation Drama Kids & Family Romantic Comedy Romance Documentary Independent Foreign they prefer the movie theater above DVDs (24%), renting online (7%) and Movies On Demand (5%). Overall, U.S. teens watched an average Source: The Nielsen Company of 31.4 movies in 2008 via all means (compared to 25.3 for all consumers). Of In terms of genre, comedy films reign movies don’t get much love from teens— those, the typical teen saw 10.8 movies with U.S. teenagers. Eighty five percent just 39% like romantic comedies and only in the theater—the highest average of U.S. teens say they are fans of the about a quarter enjoy general romance theatrical viewing of any age group. Put comedy genre, followed closely by Action movies. differently, teens made up 14% of the & Adventure (80%) before falling off to R-rated comedies have grown popular theatrical movie going audience in 2008 Sci-Fi (52%) and Suspense or Mystery even with female teens: 79% of males and 20% of the critical “heavy” movie- (51%). Only about half of U.S. teen movie 17–24 and 70% of females 17–24 saw at going segment who saw more than 10 goers say they are fans of horror, anima- least one R-rated comedy in 2008, and theatrical films in 2008. tion, drama and family movies. Romance they want more. Fifty-seven percent of males 17–24 and 44% of females 17–24 agreed with the statement, “Can’t Wait for the Next One.” As 3D movies gains some traction, many believe teens present a strong market for these films. In 2008, 27% of teens saw at least one 3D movie, compared to 21% of all movie goers. The experience resonated: 64% of teens who saw at least one 3D movie said the experience was better than a 2D film and 75% they have a definite interest in seeing more films in 3D. 10
  • 12. Gaming Figure 16: Average Daily Video Game Console Use—U.S. Myth: Teens are the biggest gamers of all 0:50:24 0:43:12 0:41:15 Reality: Teens account for just 23% of the 0:34:14 hh:mm:ss 0:36:00 console audience and less than 10% of 0:28:48 0:24:59 PC game minutes 0:21:36 0:20:46 0:14:24 When we think of teen media use, gaming 0:07:22 0:09:15 0:07:12 is often one of the first activities that 0:06:41 0:08:02 0:00:00 comes to mind. Over the course of the 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 past 20 years, though, the gaming audi- ence has broadened. New devices and Females 12–17 Males 12–17 Persons 12–17 Persons 2+ games have extended gaming beyond Source: The Nielsen Company boys to girls, young adults, and—with the introduction of Nintendo’s Wii—people Figure 17: Video Game Console and Handheld Use— on the younger and older sides of the Past 30 Days, Persons 15–20—2008 demographic spectrum. In the fourth 60% quarter of 2008, teens 12–17 made up just 48% 41% 23% of the U.S. console gaming audience 40% 28% 22% 19% 20% and they accounted for fewer than 10% 20% 14% 3% 7% 8% of all of the PC game minutes played in a 0% Total North America Europe Latin America Asia-Pacific typical month. Though the gaming audience has broad- A console video game system A handheld video game system ened, console, PC and handheld gaming Source: The Nielsen Company still plays a prominent role in the media lives of teens. Though 25 minutes is a daily average, Myth: Teen gamers spend all their time gaming tends to be a more sporadic activ- playing “Mature” shooter games From a console gaming perspective, ity than, say, TV viewing. When teens do system access is nearly ubiquitous for Reality: Just two of the top five “most sit down to play—they play for a while. U.S. teens. Today, 83% of teens have at anticipated” games among teens since Nielsen estimates that the typical teen least one console in their home. Seventy- 2005 were rated Mature console gamer will use a console just five percent of males 12–17 and 57% of seven days out of the month, but do so for Of the top five most anticipated video females 12–17 played console video games more than an hour each session. Xbox 360 games among teens since 2005, just two at least once during the fourth quarter is the most popular video game console were rated Mature by the ESRB (Entertain- of 2008 (compared to 36% of the total among teens—accounting for 29% of all ment Software Rating Board), two were population age two and older). Male and their minutes of play. rated Teen and one was rated Everyone. female teen gaming was up from 70% and The most anticipated video game among 47% from a year prior, respectively. Handheld video game systems are also gamers 13–17 since 2005 has been Halo 3, popular with teens, particularly in the The typical U.S. teen used a video game a first-person shooter game rated Mature U.S. Globally, 30% of teens have access console an average of 25 minutes per day by the ESRB. At its peak, 61% of active to a handheld video game system. In the in 2008, for gaming or other multimedia gamers said they had a definite interest in U.S. penetration of these devices is much uses—an average that has increased over Halo 3. The other Mature rated game in higher: 73% of U.S. teens had a portable the past five years as a new generation the top five was Grand Theft Auto IV gaming device in their household in 2008. of video game consoles brought forth a which, with a 37% “definite interest” richer gaming experience and offered new Understanding what teens play on their among teens, tied Guitar Hero: Aerosmith cross-media functionality. The average video game systems might change the (rated Teen) for the second most antici- daily console use is considerably higher for perspective on teen gaming. The notion pated video game. Mario Party 7 (33%) teen boys (41 minutes) than for teen girls that teens spend all of their gaming time and Guitar Hero: World Tour (32%) round (8 minutes). as first person shooters is false. Indeed, out the list of the five most anticipated teens spend just some of their time shoot- games. Play-along music and fantasy ing one another up. driving games, it turns out, are as relevant to the teen gaming experience as first- person shooter games. 11
  • 13. Music & Radio Figure 19: Portable Media Device Use by Region—Past 30 Days, Persons 15–20—2008 Myth: With MP3 players and PCs, teens no longer rely on radio 57% 49% 60% 44% 40% 45% 40% 24% 31% Reality: Radio is the top source of music 20% 20% 20% 13% consumption for 16% of teens globally 0% Total Europe North America Latin America Asia-Pacific and the secondary source for another 21%. A portable/handheld music-only MP3 player or digital audio player It’s sometimes said that “music defines A portable/handheld multimedia device that plays both music and video a generation.” If that is the case, it may Source: The Nielsen Company not be the genre of music, but the mode of consumption that defines today’s Not totally lost to digital, radio is still the Figure 20: Top Ten Radio Formats— teenagers. While radio, records, 8-tracks, primary source of music consumption U.S. Persons 18–20—2008 cassettes and CD players had their gen- for 16% of teens and a secondary source erations, this is the generation of the MP3 for 21% of teens, globally. Considering Format Listen player. Already today, the MP3 player is that teens may find themselves in older Pop Contemporary Hit Radio 40% the top method of music consumption cars not yet equipped to play from their Rhythmic Contemporary Hit for teens around the world. Thirty-nine MP3 player and that radio still serves 33% Radio percent of teens globally say it is their as an information source for local social Country 20% primary method of listening to music, fol- happenings of extra relevance to teens, lowed not by CDs or radio, but the home some degree of radio listenership should Urban Contemporary 18% computer, which is the primary source of be expected. And while not the most Alternative 16% music for 33% of teens globally. Forty-five popular source of audio consumption, Hot AC 12% percent of teens globally say they listen to radio preferences can still give us a five or more hours of music per week on broader perspective into the musical Active Rock 11% their computer; 12% say they listen to 20 tastes of today’s teens. Adult Contemporary 10% hours or more. Classic Rock 9% In the U.S., a 2008 study by Scarborough Figure 18: Top Methods of Teen Music Research showed that “Pop Contemporary Album Oriented Rock 7% Consumption—Globally, Hit Radio” was the most popular format Source: Scarborough Research Persons 15–20—2008 among older teens 18–20 (listened to by 40% of this segment), followed by Rhyth- Office Computer 2% mic Contemporary and Country. The News/Information radio genre Television 2% performs relatively poorly with 18–20 Other 4% Home Audio 5% year-olds. Just 4% of persons 18–20 said Radio at Home 6% MP3 Player they listened to News/Information sta- 39% tions in 2008, compared to 20% of the Car Radio 10% total population. Beyond digital tracks and broadcast, many teens still purchase music in hard formats, as well. Whether it’s the allure of the Home Computer 33% album art and lyric book or an affinity for still owning music in a physical form, 75% Source: The Nielsen Company of teens globally say they listen to at least some CDs each week, according to a 2008 Globally, nearly half of teens (44%) use global survey by Nielsen. Twenty-percent a music-only MP3 player and a quarter still listen to five hours or more. Around say they use one that plays both music the world, the typical teen purchased and video. In North America, teen use of more than three CDs in 2008, though the MP3 players that also play video is slightly average was less in North America, where higher, where 40% of teens do so. the typical teen purchased just over two, on average. 12
  • 14. Newspapers Myth: Teens wouldn’t know a newspaper if the paperboy hit them in the face Reality: More than a quarter of U.S. teens say they read a daily newspaper and more than a third say they read on Sunday As some newspapers shut down and Figure 21: Newspaper Readership— pundits predict the downfall of others, a U.S. Persons 18–20—2008 popular perception is that a new genera- tion of media consumers can be blamed 60% 50% 45% for the decline and fall of print media. 40% 29% 34% It’s true, older teens 18–20 measured by 20% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 1% 3% 3% Scarborough Research were less likely to 0% read a daily paper than average, but still Any Daily New York USA Today Wall Street Any Sunday Sunday more than a quarter (29%) of U.S. persons Newspaper Times Journal Newspaper New York Times 18–20 say they read a daily newspaper on an average day. About a third, 34%, say P18+ P18–20 they read a paper on an average Sunday. Source: Scarborough Research Advertising Myth: Most advertising to teens is for Figure 22: Top Advertiser Categories Beyond the top categories advertising to junk-food and entertainment Across 14 Teen Magazines teens in these publications, we looked also at the top individual advertisers. The Reality: Advertisers are more likely to 2008-$$$ top 10 advertisers in these teen publica- target teens with messages about health Product Category (Millions) tions spent a combined $70 million to and beauty APPAREL $40,048 reach this audience in 2008. Procter & Teens are a natural focus for many FRAGRANCES- Gamble, no doubt hoping to earn CPG marketers: with both direct expendable $14,634 customers for life, spent an estimated WOMEN income and a substantial amount of influ- $16.7 million across these 14 teen-centric ENTERTAINMENT ence over household purchases, engaging $13,956 publications. The U.S. Government, which SFTWRE teens around a brand can have a substan- Nielsen estimates spent more than $5 tial impact. SPORTING million to reach teens across these 14 $9,998 FOOTWEAR publications, was also among the top ten In order to get a better understanding of STORE-DEPT $8,634 advertisers. The government’s investment which advertisers and categories have to reach teens was spread across anti-drug been trying to reach teenagers, on one STORE-APPAREL $8,592 campaigns ($2.6 million), military recruit- medium at least, we analyzed the top SHOES $8,190 ment ($2.4 million) and environmental advertising spenders in 2008 across 14 LIPSTICK $6,384 protection ($59,000). teen-centric magazines in the U.S. The results show that, contrary to the notion ANTIPERSP-DEOD $5,010 that teens are being bombarded with mes- MASCARA $4,949 sages about junk food and entertainment, Total Among These the highest concentration of advertising $120,396 Categories to teens is around “image” products such as apparel and beauty. All together, Total Within These $247,556 Nielsen estimates that more than $240 Publications million were spent across these 14 teen Source: The Nielsen Company magazines in 2008. Apparel advertisers spent the largest share, $40 million. 13