Monday, July 13, 2009

Teens and Media

We just came across this article in the Financial Times, and wondered why was this "scribble" such a sensation. At CultureLab we have been knowing this for the last 2 and a half years. We guess it is finally sinking in to mainstream media and to the older generation that yeah, things are changing fundamentally. This is why Clients hire us, because we fully understand how young consumers use media and what is relevant to them.

Read this:

Note by 'teenage scribbler' causes sensation
By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York
Published: July 12 2009 23:32 | Last updated: July 12 2009 23:32
A research note written by a 15-year-old, who was not born when former UK chancellor Nigel Lawson dismissed London analysts as “teenage scribblers”, has become the talk of middle-aged media executives and investors.

Morgan Stanley’s European media analysts asked Matthew Robson, one of the bank’s interns from a London school, to describe his friends’ media habits. His report proved to be “one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen. So we published it,” said Edward Hill-Wood, head of the team.

The response was enormous. “We’ve had dozens and dozens of fund managers, and several CEOs, e-mailing and calling all day,” said Mr Hill-Wood, 35, estimating that the note had generated five or six times more feedback than the team’s usual reports.

However, he made no claims for its statistical rigour.

As elderly media moguls gathered at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, to fawn over Twitter and fret over their business models, Mr Robson set out a sobering case that tomorrow’s consumers are using more and more media but are unwilling to pay for it.

“Teenagers do not use Twitter,” he pronounced. Updating the micro-blogging service from mobile phones costs valuable credit, he wrote, and “they realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless”.

His peers find it hard to make time for regular television, and would rather listen to advert-free music on websites such as than tune into traditional radio. Even online, teens find advertising “extremely annoying and pointless”.

Their time and money is spent instead on cinema, concerts and video game consoles which, he said, now double as a more attractive vehicle for chatting with friends than the phone.

Mr Robson had little comfort for struggling print publishers, saying no teenager he knew regularly reads a newspaper since most “cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text” rather than see summaries online or on television.

Executives and investors have grown fascinated by the opinions of teenagers. Rupert Murdoch, 78, has described himself as a “digital immigrant” and his young daughters as “digital natives”, while UBS pulled in an 18-year-old three years ago to demonstrate MySpace to portfolio managers.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

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