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July 2007

Looking to Reach College Students – Look Online

Before they arrive on campus this fall college students will spend significant dollars on
everything from clothing and shoes to computers and supplies. Reaching out to college
students is a powerful opportunity for marketers to cultivate a lasting brand relationship
with a potent demographic group – and there is no better place to reach them than online.

• College students consume the Internet in greater quantity than both television and
• Students have significant dollars to spend – and will be spending them on apparel and
technology products leading up to their September return to campus.

These findings come from a July 2007 Burst Media online survey of 439 college students
18-24 years old on their media consumption, how they finance their discretionary
spending, and what influences their brand preferences.

College Students are Online, Even When Watching Television

More Time Spent With The Internet Than Other Media
One third (33.0%) of college
students spend more than ten
hours per week on the Internet, Time Spent Per Week with Media
and 19.6% spend more than 20
hours per week online. Among
college students, Internet usage More than 20
levels surpass those of hours
television and terrestrial
/satellite radio. Whereas one in
three college students are 13.4%
heavy consumers of the 11-20 hours 8.8%
Internet, only one in six 3.1%
(16.6%) watch more than ten
hours per week of television and 20.3%
merely 5.5% listen to 6-10 hours 19.9%
terrestrial/satellite radio more 10.4%
than ten hours per week.
(Chart1) Internet
3-5 hours 27.4% Telev ision
Students are Online - Even
18.0% Radio
When Watching Television or
Listening to the Radio
College students are multi-
Less than 3 hours 35.5%
taskers – often consuming
different media simultaneously.
In fact, one-half (50.6%) of
college students surf the % of Respondents
Internet while watching
television and 43.5% are online Chart 1 – Time spent with media type, 18-24 years old college students
while listening to Source: Burst Research, July 2007, n= 439

July 2007, Burst Media, Corp., All Rights Reserved Page 1

terrestrial/satellite radio.

Keeping in Contact and Entertainment are Primary Reasons to Use the Internet
Instant messaging is the most popular online activity with both male (62.3%) and
female (57.2%) college students. This activity is followed by downloading music/MP3
files (53.3%), and pursuing school/work activities (51.7%). Other popular online
activities include; playing online games (47.7%), reading entertainment news/gossip
(46.2%), listening to Internet radio (44.5%), reading local/national/international news
(44.2%), viewing streaming video content (42.6%), shopping (38.2%), researching
health information
(26.7%), reading sports
scores and news (23.9%),
searching for local
restaurant/club listings
(20.6%), reading
fashion/trend news
(20.3%), reading
horoscopes (15.3%), and
seeking weather
information (6.2%).

Male college students are

more like than female
college students (49.3%
vs 34.3%) to view
streaming video content.
Female college students
are more likely than male
college student to
research health
information (32.8% vs
Table 1 – Participation in Online Activity, 18-24 years old college students
21.7%, respectively). Source: Burst Research, July 2007, n= 439
(Table 1)

Clothes and Computers Top the Shopping List

Money To Burn – College Students Have It and Spend It
Monthly discretionary spending varies depending on a student’s gender. Two-thirds
(69.1%) of male college students spend $250 or more in a typical month on personal
items. This compares to 50.2% of female college students who spend $250 or more in a
month on personal items.

Personal spending is funded from a number of sources. One in five (18.7%) college
students’ work full-time to fund their personal expenses and another 39.4% work part-
time. Male students are more likely than female students to fund expenses through
savings, 37.0% vs 28.5%, respectively. One-half (50.9%) of female students and
46.1% of male college students also fund their personal expenses with contributions
from their parents or guardian.

Casual Clothes Rule This Fall

Before returning to school in the fall, half (46.7%) of college students will purchase
casual clothing. Female college students are slightly more likely than male college
students to say they will purchase casual clothing, 50.2% vs 43.8%, respectively. Other
planned apparel purchases before returning to school include casual shoes (33.6%),
dressy clothing (25.9%), sneakers (25.6%), and dressy shoes (18.7%). Female college

July 2007, Burst Media, Corp., All Rights Reserved Page 2

students are more likely than male college students (31.9% vs 21.0%) to say they will
purchase dressy clothing before returning to school.

Tech Must Haves are the Laptop and Cell Phone

Laptops and cell phones are the key technology products college students will purchase
before returning to school this fall. In fact, nearly one in four (23.3%) will purchase a
laptop computer in the coming weeks; one in four (21.5%) will purchase a cellular
phone. Male students are more likely than female students (26.0% vs. 16.4%) to say
they will purchase a cellular phone. Other technology products to be purchased before
returning to campus include desktop computer (15.2%), digital music player (15.1%),
video game console (13.7%), and a laser printer (6.7%).

Offline Retail Gets Bulk of Dollars – But Significant Money Still Spent Online
College students will be making their purchases both online and offline. The Burst
survey found that students expect to make three-quarters (77.3%) of their purchases
offline in a mall or other retail outlet, and 22.7% of their purchases online. Male college
students will make more of their purchases online than female college students (26.6%
vs 16.7%, respectively).

A Generation of Savers?
Given the Option to Spend it – College Students Save it
When given a hypothetical $500 windfall to spend in any way they please, male and
female college students are most likely to save/invest a majority of the money;
allocating an average of $330 out of the $500 to savings/investing. Male college
students allocate slightly more money to savings/investing than female students; males
average $354 and females average $302. Beyond that, males and females spend the
remaining money in a similar
fashion; spending money in Fa ctors Tha t Influe nce Bra nd Sw itching
descending order on travel,
clothes, doing something with 68.8%
Better Price
friends, electronics, and music. 64.2%

Frugality and Friends Drive 60.4%

Friends' recom m endation
Brand Switching
What is the most important
influence on college students in Seeing others use it
terms of their brand selection?
Better price is the number one 16.8%
Buzz - people talking about brand
answer, cited by 66.3% of 24.5%
college students, and a friends’
recommendation was second An adv ertisem ent
with 56.0%. These factors are 20.1%
followed by “seeing others use
a brand” (25.9%), “buzz” Interesting packaging
(21.0%), an advertisement
(18.6%), packaging (18.0%), Fem ale
press stories (14.2%), and Press stories
M ale
celebrity endorsement (9.8%).
Female college students are Entertainer/sports celebrity 6.9%
more likely than males to cite Endorsem ent 12.2%
friends’ recommendations as an
influencer on brand switching % of R espondents
(60.4% vs 52.5%). Males are
more likely than females to cite Chart 2: Brand Switching – Influencers, 18-24 years old college students
Burst Media Research, July 2007; n=439
“buzz” as an influencer on

July 2007, Burst Media, Corp., All Rights Reserved Page 3

brand switching (24.5% to 16.8%). (Chart 2)

How you can use this information

The Internet is the Media to Reach College Students. The 18-24 years segment has
fully integrated the Internet into their daily lives. In fact, for a significant proportion of the
segment, the Internet is the primary communication vehicle, information source, and
entertainment channel – in short it is the media of choice. As you develop a media plan to
reach this important target, recognize the role the Internet has in their daily lives. Be sure
your media choices leverage the vast content of the Internet; and use all of the engaging
creative options, from rich media to video units, the Internet offers. Remember the 18-24
years target is an experienced and demanding Internet segment.

Burst Channels Rich with College Student

The 18-24 years old segment is the first truly “wired” demographic segment, having not
only grown-up with the Internet, but also incorporating it into nearly every aspect of their
daily lives. This demographic target, given their influence on consumer tastes and
discretionary spending, is an attractive target for many marketers. Additionally, with
their most powerful years as a consumer ahead of them, the brand loyalty of the 18-24
years old segment is highly coveted by marketers looking for a potential lifetime
customer. Burst has a number of channels that can help marketers reach the 18-24
years old segment. (Chart 3)

9 Burst’s College and Young Compostition Index - Full Time/Part Time

Adult channel is a collection of College Student
web sites with content focused
on topics college students and
young adults enjoy and seek Burst College and Young Adults 210
out. Topics covered in the
channel range from UGO 192
entertainment news and
games, to academic and career
information. Channel visitors Burst Careers 189
purchase products online –
with three-out-of-five (60.5%) Burst Sports & Recreation 178
saying they do so. Also, over
one-half (53.6%) say the
Internet is their primary source Burst Automotiv e 175
for information on products
and services they plan to Burst Health & Fitness 170
MTV Netw orks Music 158
9 Burst’s Careers channel
provides job listings, training,
and recruiting information to IGN Entertainment 150
the job seeker. Two-thirds
(65.6%) of channel visitors
Yahoo! U.S. Sports 137
shop online. Forty-five percent
of channel visitors have gone
to the movies in the past Gorilla Nation Media 123
Composition Index
9 Burst’s Sports & Recreation
channel provides guides for all Chart 3 – Composition Index, Internet Average = 100
Source: ComScore Media Metrix, Plan Metrix – Winter Release 2007
active sports interests as well

July 2007, Burst Media, Corp., All Rights Reserved Page 4

as fan pages for favorite local, college, and professional sports teams. Three-quarters
(74.4%) of Burst’s Sports & Recreation visitors participated in a sporting activity in the
past month. In the past month, 51.8% of channel visitors have attended a sporting
event - and 52.7% say they have gone to the movies.

9 The Burst Automotive channel offers information on the purchase, maintenance and
customization of autos, motorcycles, and trucks. More than half (55.9%) of channel
visitors say they use the Internet to research automobile models, 34.0% say they
research auto parts online and 19.8% say they purchase auto parts online. More than
one-third (36.8%) of channel visitors plan on purchasing/leasing a new or used vehicle
in the next six months.

9 The Burst Health & Fitness channel provides information on keeping the body looking
and feeling good with guides on exercise, nutrition, and fashion. More than half
(54.4%) of channel visitors have households with three or more individuals in their
household. More than half (55.9%) of channel visitors say they shop online.

Sites in the Burst Network That Reach College Students

Burst is always adding quality, content-rich sites to its network. All sites added to the
Burst network are subject to a rigorous screening process. Burst also periodically reviews
Network sites to ensure they continue to meet our standards. Our continuous auditing
process guarantees your advertising message is placed in a high quality content
environment, and is receiving the maximum exposure it deserves. Below are several of
the many interesting sites in the Burst Network that reach College Students.

The Daily Jolt is an ever expanding, underground

community of over 200 campus-specific web sites, created
and maintained by a team of students on each campus.
Across the Daily Jolt network, these “Jolters” provide the
essential day-to-day information and meeting places that
their fellow students need and want. Each month, The Daily
Jolt is part of the daily routine of over 400,000 students. It works because students know
what students want. Founded in 1999 by a couple of college kids, The Daily Jolt is the most
effective way to reach college students because it is still run by students, for students. It’s
not just a web site; it’s a place where students hang out, 24 hours a day. is the Webby award winning urban legends

reference page. It is the place to check out the truth
about the tale you heard about a student who mistakes a
math problem thought to be unsolvable for a homework
assignment and solves it. offers not only a
huge collection of urban legends, but also common
fallacies, misinformation, old wives' tales, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip,
and similar items. With its constantly updated content, offers some of the
most interesting and irreverent facts, news and stories on the web.

SoundClick is a music website that features both

signed and unsigned bands. You will find well-
known artists, but the driving force is hundreds of
thousands of great unsigned bands looking for their
big break. For music-lovers SoundClick provides tons of great bands and full-length songs.
All songs are available in streaming audio, and most are also available as free legal MP3
downloads. For bands, SoundClick is one of the best ways to promote their music on the
internet. Bands get unlimited web space to set-up message boards, news features, mailing
July 2007, Burst Media, Corp., All Rights Reserved Page 5
lists, lyrics, song story pages, member pages, and contact information. Nearly three out of
five (59%) of SoundClick’s audience is 24 years or younger – and 70% is male.

About Burst Media

An online media and technology company founded in 1995, Burst Media
( is a leading provider of advertising representation, services and
technology to independent Web Publishers. Burst Media levels the playing field for
independent web publishers and allows advertisers to reach finely segmented, engaged
consumers — in a clutter-free environment — through an extensive number of interest-
based sub-channels. Through its Burst Network and Burst Direct offerings, the company
represents the broadest and deepest number of interest-based websites online. Burst also
markets its ad management platform, AdConductor ™, which empowers content web sites,
online ad networks, and web portals to manage the complete process of ad sales and
service. Burst Media is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices throughout
the United States and in London, UK. For more information, visit or
call 781.272.5544.

Online Insights is a monthly publication that highlights emerging trends in online usage and
purchasing patterns. Learn about the latest online usage trends and purchase patterns with
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© 2007 Burst Media Corporation, All Rights Reserved

July 2007, Burst Media, Corp., All Rights Reserved Page 6

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