There’s a fantastic report coming out of Morgan Stanley that analyzes the way teens consume media in this day and age. The source was a 15-year-old boy; he interns at the company. The results will the music industry, make Hollywood very happy indeed, and put to bed the notion that everyone is head over heels in love with Twitter.
So the boy, one Matthew Robson, says the following:
• Teens don’t want to pay for music, and certainly not CDs. They’ll either download it illegally or going on streaming sites to listen to what they want, when they want.
• Radio is dead to teenagers, as we’ve said in the past.
• Teens hates intrusive advertising.
• Teens still spend money going to the movie theater, but merely because it’s a social activity. That would explain why something like Paul Blart: Mall Cop was such a big hit.
• Print media is irrelevant to them. Irrelevant!
• Teens don’t use Twitter because no one is reading their tweets. Twitter is totally different when you have thousands of people following you versus only a handful of your co-workers.
• Teens don’t watch live TV anymore, preferring to watch content online. (The report cites the BBC iPlayer, but that’s because this is a UK-based report. I imagine you’d be able to substitute that with Hulu when dealing with American teens.)
• Sony Ericsson phones are seen as being high-end. Again, that’s another European bias—when was the last time you saw anyone, let alone a teen, in the U.S. with a Sony Ericsson phone?
• Well-to-do teens listen to music on the iPod, less well-off teens use their cellphone
And that’s about it.
One thing that strikes me: teens don’t like advertising, yet they want everything for free? Hope they have their What.cd account safe and secure, then.
Oh, and lest we forget: this entire report is based on the handiwork of a single 15-year-old boy who interns at Morgan Stanley, which either suggests that he’s wicked smart or that he comes from a decidedly middle class family. (I would suggest that most 15-year-olds don’t intern at gigantic financial institutions.) His views may not accurately reflect the views of the “average” teenager. It’d be like asking a Goldman Sachs exec how his life is: he’d say it’s going great, but there’s a hell of a lot of people who are hurting out there.