New Nielsen study debunks myths about teen media consumption

June 25, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Research giant Nielsen has released a fascinating new study that looks at how teenagers consumer media, slapping down all kinds oy myths in the process.

Whiley do indeed spend a lot of time staring at Facebook and the text windows on their cellphones, they still also watch TV and listen to quaint little devices like the radio. There’s even a suggestion they read newspapers (I have NEVER seen that).

The Nielsen Company report, called How Teens Use Media, is focused on American teens aged 12 to 17 years, of which there are 33 million. The researchers found that instead of abandoning conventional media, it’s actually up – with TV viewing increasing by six percent in the last five years. And adults evident spend waaaaay more time than kids online.

Chart from TechCrunch post on report 

Nielsen, in a press release, is suggesting people “look past the hype” and not regard teens as alien creatures who do nothing the same way as their parents did 20-30 years earlier.

Sure, it might sound hip and trendy to suggest they’re too busy texting, Twittering or LOL-ing to be engaged with traditional media, but ultimately, the research proves otherwise.

“The media experience is broadening for all consumers, not just teens,” said Nic Covey, director of insights for The Nielsen Company. “Looking at our research across markets and media, we see that, contrary to popular assumption, teens are actually pretty normal in their usage, and more attentive than most give them credit for.”

The comprehensive report combines insights from Nielsen’s global resources in Television, internet, mobile, gaming, moviegoing, radio, newspaper and advertising research to debunk myths and provide the hard facts around how teens use media.

Key Takeaways

 If your business is supposed to be making money by selling ads on screens, this should be useful information. There’s also a lot of detail in there about broader media consumption and lifestyle patterns across all age categories. 

It doesn’t get into digital out of home at all, from what I can see. But assume if you are marketing specifically to that crowd, you have a lot of rivals for their attention.

The report is free and you can download it here …

Leave a comment