Nielsen: Teens Are All Web and No TV? Lies!

Nielsen is taking on the panic in traditional media that teens are too busy “texting, Twittering or LOL-ing” to pick

Nielsen is taking on the panic in traditional media that teens are too busy “texting, Twittering or LOL-ing” to pick up a newspaper or flip on the TV.

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Nielsen’s June 2009 How Teens Use Media report, presented today by Nic Covey, director of insights for the Nielsen Company, at the annual What Teens Want conference at the Time & Life Building in New York, states that American teens actually watch more TV than they ever have (with a 6 percent increase during the past five years) and spend half as much time browsing the Internet than the rest of America. That’s only 11 hours and 32 minutes a month!

In fact, Nielsen’s report states media should be more worried about that 25-34 demographic, who spend 35 percent more time watching videos online than teens. Of course, most college graduates are sitting at desk jobs all day, glued to their screens, while teens are trapped in classrooms, doing after-school activities, working part-time jobs and “moving about an otherwise hyper-social high school ecosystem,” according to Nielsen.

Here’s a teenager’s typical day of media consumption, according to the report:

– Live TV: 3 hours, 20 minutes
– Using their PC applications (like, say, Word and Excel): 52 minutes
– Talking on the phone: 6 minutes
– Internet: 23 minutes (Google was their top-rated site)
– Text messages: 96 sent or received
– Watching a DVD: 17 minutes
– Watching online video: 6 minutes
– Watching a video on their phone: 13 minutes (mostly music videos)
– Reading a newspaper: 1 in 4 said they picked one up to read it.

You read that last fact right. O.K., older teens aged 18-to-20 are less likely to read a daily paper, but more than a quarter (29 percent) of 18-to-20-year-olds say they read a daily newspaper on an average day. About 34 percent of them curl up with a paper on Sundays.

And if Millennials do take over your TV, it might look pretty similar to their parents’ TiVo schedule, according to Nielsen’s research. Teens’ favorite TV shows, top Web sites and genre preferences across media are mostly the same as their parents: For U.S. teens, American Idol was the top show in 2008 (along with the rest of Middle America). But they also really like shows including Family Guy and American Dad, so cartoons are still in, apparently.

“Reality or Participation/Variety programs are universally appealing,” according to Nielsen, and here comes a bummer: “Sports and Information
(news) are almost universally absent among the top three rated genres.”

Check out the full report here for more teen media-use goodies.

Nielsen: Teens Are All Web and No TV? Lies!