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The Multitasking Generations: 13-34 Year Olds Average 4-5 Other Activities While Watching TV

Posted on Fri, Nov 18, 2011

New Study Examines the TV Consumption Habits of Generations X, Y and i

Adults 18-24 and 25-34 Most Likely to Connect Social Media to TV Viewing; Teens Most Likely to Watch with Friends and Family

(National Harbor, MD—November 9, 2011) – A new study released today, “Watching Gens X, Y & i,” paints a detailed portrait of 13-34 year old consumers and how they watch television: often while taking part in up to four or five activities all at the same time, from eating, cooking and cleaning to texting, surfing the web, emailing, playing games or listening to music.

“Many 13-34 year olds are multi-media multitaskers, but their social media activities vary depending on age group,” said Char Beales, president and CEO, Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), and head of the organization that commissioned the study.

Younger generations have been raised in an entertainment world where content is available anytime, anywhere and on numerous platforms. This study exposes what teens and young adults are watching, with whom they’re watching, where, how often and on what devices.

Although about half of 18-24 and 25-34 year olds follow or “like” TV networks/shows, only 38% of those 13-17 do. The leading social networking activities while watching TV are looking up info (31% of 13-34 year olds), discussing shows online (29%), posting updates/tweeting (24%) and visiting a network or show page (22%). However, these activities are almost twice as likely to be conducted among 18-24 and 25-34 year olds compared to teens.

Click Here To View the Complete Article.

This research, conducted by C+R Research, was commissioned by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) to investigate the effect of lifestyles and life stages on media and technology usage of younger consumers. It included both qualitative and quantitative online phases in the summer of 2011, and also utilizes data from C+R’s comprehensive syndicated YouthBeat study to provide additional context. 2,124 total interviews were conducted as part of the quantitative phase.

Tags: Market Research Reporting, youth and family research, Market Research, C+R News

Debunking Myths

Posted on Wed, May 4, 2011

By Amy Henry, Vice President of Youth Insights

At the Kid, Youth and Parent Power Conference in Florida last week, marketers, researchers and child advocates gathered to discuss trends and tYouth Market Researcho share success stories. But they also came to engage in one of researchers’ and marketers’ favorite pastimes: myth bashing. On the doorstep of Disney, a place where fairytales usually prevail, speakers challenged the notion that teens rebel (according to MTV, Millenials prefer to game the system, not change it), that tweens and teens respond to mobile advertising, and that today’s parents just don’t understand (it turns out, they do).

We’ve engaged in a bit of this ourselves…On our YouthBeat website, you can find a link to our white paper on the “Six Youth Untruths,” and at the recent ARF conference, we shared a few fables about advertising to kids, tweens and teens.

Why do we take a swipe at hearsay and a cut at conventional wisdom so much? And what makes it so necessary to negate the notions that so many marketers have made into mantras?

  • First, we know that myths don’t just survive, but often thrive, in marketing culture. Sometimes old insights die hard, and it’s tough to give up a gem of an idea even if it’s time has passed. Remember when talking about “pester power” sounded like a masterful mom insight? Or that people over 55 don’t experiment with new brands? Even though youth and family culture has moved on, marketers are sometimes reluctant to change their tune. Too many presentations have been written, briefs have been crafted or businesses have been built on these ideas – and the thought of re-investing in new intelligence brings with it anxiety and a price tag.
  • Second, myths make our jobs easy. And isn’t that a good thing? Many of the myths that prevail come from watching the people around us, or taking our own experience too seriously. When it comes to truly understanding consumers’ needs and desires, this mindset can be a recipe for disaster. Smart researchers know that behind a simple truth sometimes lies a more messy explanation. And while we could argue that simple is good, complexity often gets us to a better understanding of the consumers we serve.
  • And finally, new myths seem to arise on a daily basis. Today, when bloggers’ words can sound biblical, and consultants make their mark through making bold statements about the future, researchers must add a tempered perspective. Do all kids have iPhones? Not by a longshot. Are iPads in every home? Not yet. But these can be unpopular messages to send to marketers who hope to get ahead of the next trend. As researchers, we’re obligated to present the world as it is, even when the rhetoric seems to tell a story of a culture that has not yet come to pass.

So what’s a marketer or researcher to do? Scrutinize the sure-things – don’t accept that timeless ideas last forever. Embrace complexity – and if an insight feels a little too true, question and challenge it before applying it to your work. And finally, look to validate your hunches – especially the newest ones -  before using them to generalize the lives of your consumers or your audience.

Tags: youth and family research, teenage market research, youth market research