TV vs. Online – The Battle for Teens Attention 4th Jul 2009

If you believe everything you read, you'll know that teens aren't watch TV anymore.

They are all watching online videos, downloading movies and file sharing the newest episode of Gossip Girl. Broadcast TV is dead to them.

The reality is probably a little less palatable. Teens are watching more TV than they ever have. They are also spending more and more of their daily lives online. We are all aware of teens ability to multi-task, but here we are talking about Media-Meshing. Teens are able to consume more than two media at any one time. The best bit for us is that they cross-reference one with another. TV will deliver the scale, online delivers the emersion. It's a beautiful thing.

Inserted below are some top line results from a Habbo Australia survey conducted in April 2009. The point is simple, neither TV or the Internet are silos, they are intimately woven together

If you still don't believe that TV is still big, please have a read of the new Nielsen research , plus some data from Fuse and then the Beta Life study from MTV International.

If you would like to know more about Gen Z, you can either download the pdf, watch the video, contact Launch Group or send me a little email.

  1. Hi Paul, how well teens distinguish between TV and online? ie I’m sure they watch plenty of TV online too.

  2. threebillion says:

    Very good question indeed!

    I’ve gone through the data sheets and there was a question which kinda tackled this:

    “In your spare time, would you prefer to watch TV or surf the net?”

    It depends what’s on TV: 40%
    Surf the Net: 38%
    Watch TV: 8%
    Unsure: 6%
    Neither: 5%
    I watch TV on the Internet: 2%
    I surf the net on the TV: 1%

    So, in terms watching TV online, it’s a bit of a smart Alec response to the question, so I’m not too sure how much you can read into it. But even if you put a 5x factor on it, it’s still not that significant.

    There are some additional US numbers around audio-visual content which may be a little more powerful.

    Note, these results are for ALL PEOPLE and they are from a Bell State University (US) study conducted in March 2009, they found:

    99% of video viewing was done through the TV
    Less than 5% of TV viewing was DVR playback
    YouTube, Hulu, iPhone and all other web and cellphone media combined accounted for less than 1% of total video viewing

    These are pretty powerful numbers and certainly not the conventional wisdom.

    To come back to what I think is the essence of your question (and the Habbo presentation); whether we are clients, agencies or owners we get way too hung-up on one media vs. another, the reality is that consumers don’t see the difference. There is no single solution anymore; all media is now deeply intertwined, which makes the message more important than it has ever been.

  3. I think things will evolve to short online shows…once you can choose what to see every minute it’s difficult to go back to the boring broadcast!!!

  4. nyna says:

    I was curious about this topic. I haven’t read much about it, but did this ’switch to digital’ thing make much of a dent in these statistics? because I never bought a box (nor do I plan to) and as a result, have discovered hulu and have really delved into the world of YouTube. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has abandoned television.