How Teenagers Consume Media
[MORGANSTANLEY RESEARCH] Digital media is profoundly transforming consumer behaviour and traditional media business models. While creating new opportunities, its disruptive influence is being accelerated by the global recession. At the vanguard of this digital revolution are teenagers. While their habits will obviously change (especially when they start employment), understanding their mindset seems an excellent way of assessing how the media landscape will evolve.
To this end, we asked a 15 year old summer work intern, Matthew Robson, to describe how he and his friends consume media.
Without claiming representation or statistical accuracy, his piece provides one of the clearest and most thought provoking insights we have seen. So we published it.
There are several issues that immediately jump out from the piece. Teenagers are consuming more media, but in entirely different ways and are almost certainly not prepared to pay for it. They resent intrusive advertising on billboards, TV and the Internet. They are happy to chase content and music across platforms and devices (iPods, mobiles, streaming sites). Print media (newspapers, directories) are viewed as irrelevant but events (cinema, concerts etc.) remain popular and one of the few beneficiaries of payment. The convergence of gaming, TV, mobile and Internet is accelerating with huge implications for pay-TV.
For mobiles, price is key – both in terms of handset prices – £100-200 – as well as taking pay as you go as opposed to contracts. Mid-range feature phones still dominate, meaning that Sony Ericsson does well as that’s their sweet spot. High-end smartphones are desirable but too expensive. Most prefer to own separate devices for music, and messaging. Texting is still key and use of new data services limited due to cost. Wi-Fi is more popular than 3G.
While these trends will not necessarily surprise, their influence on TMT stocks cannot be underestimated.