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

Executive Summary
    It’s easy to get caught up in the hype      •	 Teens watch less online video than          In a word...
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 Nie...
Video: Boob Tube or YouTube?                   Figure 2: Daily U.S. Teen (12–17) Television Viewing—2003–2008
Myth: Teens ...
TV Makes the World Go Round
Myth: U.S. teens are the world’s couch
Reality: Far from true…South Africans         ...
Online Video                                      Figure 5: Monthly Time Spent Watching Online Videos by Age, Amongst View...
Video on the Go                               Figure 7: Top Genres of Mobile Video Consumption by Reach—Mobile Video
When you add in the time spent on ap-          Figure 8: Average Monthly Time Spent Using Internet—U.S. (hh:mm:ss)—Q1 2009...
Mobile: Always Connected                         Figure 12: Average Number of Monthly Texts and Phone Calls—
At home, 24% of teen mobile subscribers      Figure 13: Mobile Media Use by U.S. Teen 13–17 Mobile Users—Q1 2009
said they...
Theatrical                                      Figure 15: Movie Genre Preferences—U.S. Teens 12–17—2008
Myth: The silver ...
Gaming                                         Figure 16: Average Daily Video Game Console Use—U.S.
Myth: Teens are the bi...
Music & Radio                                                     Figure 19: Portable Media Device Use by Region—Past 30 D...
Myth: Teens wouldn’t know a newspaper
if the paperboy hit them in the face
Reality: More than a quarter of U.S....
How Teens Use Media
How Teens Use Media
How Teens Use Media
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How Teens Use Media

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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