Monday, 13 July 2009

How Teenagers Consume Media

(By Richard Holway 5.00pm 13th July 09) Just in case you haven’t seen How Teenagers Consume Media by Matthew Robson (Aged 15 years and 7 months) it is a really good read!

Matthew got a holiday job at Morgan Stanley who asked him to write a paper on how his friends used the media. Edward Hill-Wood, who heads the media team at MS in London, said his report was “one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen. So we published it.” Since then it has set the blogsphere alight. Other fund managers are clamoring for copies.

The report is both short and to the point. If you are in newspapers, TV or the legal bit of music, it will make alarming reading. Twitter and email services are dismissed as not relevant to teenagers. Even phone companies trying to sell data services will be depressed – if it’s not text or available free via WiFi, forget it. But if you are a mid-priced phone manufacturer (anything costing over £100 just gets lost or stolen), a gaming console company, a cinema chain or concert promoter you might feel a little happier.

I remember Steve Pusey, CTO at Vodafone, telling me that he got more of an insight into how mobile phones would be used in the future from his 6 year old daughter than he did from others in Vodafone. The way the under 5s in my life have taken to games on the iPhone/iPodTouch is a warning to many (eg Nintendo and their DS). I cannot remember the last time I saw a teenager on the train reading a newspaper (not even the large number of free ones left on the seats by the time our Waterloo train arrives at the ‘school run’ stations). Whereas they are all ‘wired for sound’ from their MP3 players.

It sounds corny to say that today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s consumers and employees. Except that it’s true!

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