Teens watch less online video than
most adults, but the ads are highlyengaging to them:
Teens spend 35%less time watching online video thanadults 25–34, but recall ads better whenwatching TV shows online than they doon television.
Teens read newspapers, listen to the
radio and even
advertising morethan most:
Teens who recall TV ads are44% more likely to say they liked the ad.
Teens play video games, but are as
excited about play-along music gamesand car-racing games as they are aboutviolent ones:
Just two o their top vemost-anticipated games since 2005 arerated “Mature.”
Teens’ favorite TV shows, top websites
and genre preferences across mediaare mostly the same as those of theirparents:
For U.S. teens, American Idolwas the top show in 2008, Google thetop website and general dramas are apreerred TV genre or teens aroundthe world.Ephebiphobia is the irrational ear o youth, rooted in the Greek “ephebos” or youth, and “phobos,” or, well, phobia.While the term was coined just 15 yearsago, a curiosity and mystique around youth and their behavior has long beena cultural obsession. Consider these
covers over the decades: “Let’sFace It: Our Teenagers Are Out o Control”in 1954; “The Teenagers: A Survey o WhatThey’re Really Like” in 1966; “The SecretLie o Teens” in 1999 and “Why Teens DoStupid Things” in 2006, refecting society’slong-held view that teens are downrighttroublesome—or a orm o alien lie.In media and marketing, ephebiphobiashows up in the constant and reneticquest to understand how teens use media,made murky by assumptions that teenssomehow behave radically dierentlythan their parents and other consumers.We sometimes all prey to the notionthat teen habits are changing so quicklyand dramatically that they run counter tobroader cultural trends, are unknowableand unmeasurable, constantly evading ourunderstanding and engagement.The act is, teens are unique, but they arenot as bizarre and outlying as some mightpresume. Sure, they are the digital natives,super-communicators and multi-taskerswe hear so much about, but they are alsothe TV viewers, newspaper readers andradio listeners that some assume they arenot. What we have ound, across a varietyo studies, is that teens embrace newmedia not at the cost o traditional media,but in supplement to it.
Taken on whole,teens exhibit media habits that are more similar to the total population than not.
Globally, there are more than 1.2 billionpeople ages 10–19, according to the U.S.Census. O those, there are about 33million teenagers ages 13–19 in the UnitedStates. Beyond sheer mass, this demo-graphic wields tremendous infuence—ontheir peers, their parents and the cultureat large. As well, the ormative nature o their years has implications or everythingrom consumer packaged goods marketingto the democratic process.Understanding the reality o how teensuse media is critical—not just or business,but or civic, cultural and social pursuits.This paper examines teens in the U.S. andin many o the international markets thatNielsen measures. Our ndings challengea whole host o assumptions about themedia habits o this generation—oeringa ew surprises as we separate mythrom reality.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hypearound teenagers. The notion that teensare too busy texting and Twittering to beengaged with traditional media is excit-ing, but alse.To develop the best strategy aroundteens and media, start by challengingpopular assumptions about teens. Don’tocus on the outliers, but on the macro-level trends o media and preerences orthe segment. The averages will show youthat teens can oten be reached by thesame means as their parents.In this report, “How Teens Use Media,”we debunk the myths and give you thehard acts.
Teens are NOT abandoning TV for
In act, they watch moreTV than ever, up 6% over the past ve years in the U.S.
Teens love the Internet…but spend
far less time browsing than adults:
Teens spend 11 hours and 32 minutesper month online—ar below theaverage o 29 hours and 15 minutes.
In a word, teens are “normal.”It’s true: the media universe is expandingor teens. Social networks play an in-creasingly important role (about hal o U.S. teens use Facebook) and now manyteens access the Web over their phones(37% in the U.S.) Teens time-shitvideo with DVRs and they place-shiton their video MP3 players. Yet teensare not unique in this media revolution.The media experience has evolved andcross-platorm engagement will be criti-cal to reaching all consumers, not justteens. Media innovations have impactedeveryone’s experience—not just the
High School Musical
set.So don’t recongure the playbook.Discard the assumption that, as a rule,teens are “alien” and plan or them as you would any demographic segment—with careul attention and calculus, notpanic. Keep your eye on the averages,keep your head on your shoulders, andbeore you rewire your system, remind yoursel: Teens are people, too.