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Scribd Nielsen Report


Myth: Teens use media—10 screens at a time

Reality: Teens are more likely than adults to use their media one at a time

Popular opinion is that teen media consumers are constantly surrounded by multiple media, but the image of the “typical” teen listening to an iPod, watching TV, texting and browsing the Internet all at the same time, it turns out, is grossly misrepresentative. In 2007, Ball State University’s Center for Media Design conducted an observational study of teen media use, “High School Media Too,” (2007). In the study, researchers found that 23% of the media time among observed teens was concurrent media exposure, where two or more media were in simultaneous use. Put differently, 77% of the time observed, teens were consuming media they were using just one at a time. This level of concurrent use is lower than Ball State researchers saw in older media consumers in the now famous Middletown Media Studies research, also a product of the Center for Media Design. There, 31% of adult media time was concurrent exposure. While teens do multi-task in their media experience, their concurrent behavior may actually be lower than it is among adults. The myth that concurrent exposure is the norm, for teens in particular, sets an important framework as we explore the breadth of the teen media experience.


by Marc Cohen
In my post yesterday I stated that ‘recorded music is the best portable media experience’. This was not a good expression of what I meant.
What I should have written is: Ad-supported recorded music is the medium that goes where the listener goes and so is the best medium for advertisers to reach a busy, multi-tasking audience such as teenagers.
The proof is in the chart below, which is from the High School Media Too: A School Day in the Lives of Fifteen Teenagers report produced by the Ball State University Center for Media Design.
Look at how time spent with music is almost evenly divided between home, travel, school and other. No other medium even comes close.

Worldwide Lab at Alcatelucent

Today I thought I would share a bunch of unrelated stuff with you that I have come across in the last few weeks that I found interesting. Hopefully you can use this to sound smart or start a conversation during your next business meeting. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mindy Faber

When IssueLab presented me with the opportunity to serve as their guest editorialist for this month’s CloseUp on Youth Media, I jumped at the chance. In my ten years of working in youth media, I have long recognized the pressing need for a centralized hub that could aggregate and archive an expansive set of research materials on this dynamic and vastly under-studied field. As the issue of youth and their relation to the media is taking on a new sense of urgency among educators, policy-makers and social researchers, I also knew that this CloseUp edition could not come at a better time. ? what is youth media

That is why I am absolutely thrilled to report that the field of youth media research responded to our call for research in a big way. This CloseUp on Youth Media lists over 70 downloadable reports, including the entire Series on Digital Media and Learning recently published by MIT and funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation! There are many other gems as well, including reports from the Center for Social Media, Pew Internet and American Life Project, National Coalition Against Censorship, McCormick Tribune Foundation, Open Society Institute, Stuart Foundation, and many more.

Some of the topics researched in the body of work, housed together for the first time, include:

  • Findings on the positive impact of after-school programs, the budget for which President Bush has recently proposed a cut of over 50%, despite findings which prove they bring about greater parental involvement in school, student engagement, and student commitment to homework
  • An analysis of how young people are using new media to participate in the electoral process
  • A study of the digital divide between immigrant youth and their native-born peers
  • An examination of policy concerning intellectual copyright, network neutrality, and radio deregulation, each of which give shape to young people’s ability to access information and participate in mainstream discourse
  • Case studies of how effective youth media programs within the United States and abroad intersect with a wide range of urgent policy issues

See a complete list of research collected for this CloseUp


The National Institute on Media and the Family has reliable, up-to-date data media usage. It’s focused on children, teen and family media usage, but you can find general populations TV and media statistics as well.. Their Facts section has data on Video Games, Television, Internet & Computers, Music, Media Use, Health & Advertising and more.

Find detailed, reliable and current online media statistics at The Pew Internet & American Life Project, which produces outstanding reports “exploring the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life.” Categories include Online Activities & Pursuits; Demographics; Internet Evolution; Technolgy & Media Use; Health; Family, Friends & Community; Major News Events; Public Policy; E-Gov & E-Policy; Education and Work.. Specific report titles include Teen Content Creators and Consumers, How Women and Men Use the Internet, and Internet as Unique News Source. Highly recommended.

The Online Publishers Association has a wealth of current statistics on online/Internet usage. Use keywords in their search box to find material specific to your inquiry.

See how the video game industry tracks and measures the consumer preferences of video game players at the Consumer Insights page of the Ziff Davis Media Game Group. Tons of statistics on how video gamer players use and feel about Automobiles, Clothing, Credit Cards, Electronics, Fast Foord Leisure, Movies, Music, Personal Care, and TV. (How do they get these numbers? Usually from the little “lifestyle preference” boxes they ask buyers to check off when registering the product.)

The Center for Media Research has constantly updated statistics in the form of Research Briefs, which you can get with a free email subscription. Topics include Streaming Video statistics (by type of streamed media, by age group, how using streaming video affects use of other media, etc.) and others. Only the current Brief is easily available on the site; back issues are available after you register. Their January 2, 2007 Brief summarized findings from a U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007 revealing that:

  • Adults and teens will spend nearly five months (3,518 hours)in 2007 watching television, surfing the Internet, reading daily newspapers and listening to personal music devices.
  • According to projections from a communications industry forecast, people will spend, in the year 2007:
    • 65 days in front of the TV
    • 41 days listening to radio
    • A little over a week on the Internet in 2007
    • Adults will spend about a week reading a daily newspaper
    • Teens and adults will spend another week listening to recorded music
    • Consumer spending for media is forecasted to be $936.75 per person
  • Among adults, 97 million Internet users sought news online in 2005, 92 million purchased a product and 91 million made a travel reservation. About 16 million used a social or professional networking site and 13 million created a blog.
  • U.S. consumers are projected to spend $55.5 billion to purchase 3.17 billion books in 2007.

Ball State University’s Center for Media Design engages in “research and content development projects that explore how digital technology will touch the way we live, learn, work and play.” Make sure you have a fast connection for this site, which has excellent materials, some free and more priced for the corporate market. A free report: High School Media Too: A School Day in the Lives of Fifteen Teenagers, exploring “the media behaviors of teenagers throughout their day.”

The Digital Future Project at the Center for the Digital Future, USC Annenberg School does an annual report with excellent statistics on overall Internet access and usage, broadband growth, attitudes toward Internet accuracy and reliability, Internet shopping, privacy, email, children and more.

Newspapers are media, too. The Newspaper Association of America has newspaper media statistics on print readership, newspaper website usage, “How America Shops and Spends,” and more.

A Sampling of Media Statistics from other sources you can check for more current data

April 2006: American Demographics and Veronis Suhler Stevenson predict that the average U.S. consumer will spend 575 minutes a day in media usage in 2006 (see table).

2006 Media Usage Predictions (see April 2006)
Media Usage (in minutes per day)
TV 256
Radio 160
Internet 31
Newspapers 29
Recorded music 29
Magazines 20
Books 17
Prerecorded DVD/VCR 14
Video Games 14
Wireless Content 3
Movie Theater 2

June 2005: A Gallup poll reported in Editor and Publisher confirmed that Americans are staying away from the multiplex in droves. Asked if their moviegoing habits had changed in the past five years, nearly half (48%) said they were going out to the theater less. Only 15% said they were seeing more movies, with the rest staying about the same. 19% said they’d go out more often if movie DVDs didn’t come out so quickly. DVD sales now represent three times box office earnings.

March 2004: To mark the 50th anniversary of color television, the U.S. Census Bureau assembled a sampling of statistics from its publications about television and the television industry. Includes data on the number of TVs in households, TV viewing habits, employment, advertising and more. Most statistics are from 2001 but provide a good overview and could be used for providing a basis of comparison to more recent numbers available from the sources above.

The Media Awareness Network has older but potentially still useful pages of statistics. Use keyword “statistics” to search the entire site. Pages include:

Muncie Free Press -

By Marc Ransford

Intriguing insights have been found by Ball State as a result of a pilot methodological study that examined the media consumption behaviors of a group of teenagers, paving the way for future research into teen media-use patterns.

“High School Media Too: A School Day in the Lives of Fifteen Teenagers,” recently conducted by Ball State’s Center for Media Design (CMD), provides an in-depth picture of how these teens spend their time and how media fits into their daily routines.

Trained observers followed the teens across five locations, recording 15 types of media and 17 different life activities, logging data into “smart keyboards,” in 10-second increments.

The observational method used in this study was adapted from the CMD’s cutting-edge Middletown Media Studies, which tracked media consumption and concurrent media exposure among adults.

The pilot project tested the viability of tailoring the observational method to a demographically targeted population, said Michael Holmes, CMD associate director of Insight and Research.

With the small sample size in the pilot, results cannot be generalized to the overall population, but several intriguing insights from the study indicate what patterns may emerge from a study on a larger scale, he said.

“We see this as an important extension of our observational method,” Holmes said. “We’ve demonstrated it can be used to explore the media habits of an important and difficult-to-study audience.”

The results and future areas of study include:

  • Classroom has an impact – Type and amount of media use is influenced by classroom environment and workload more significantly than for adults in the workplace. Consequently, future studies should include weekends and vacation time as well as school days.
  • Concurrent Media Exposure (CME) a factor? – In their free time, teens were frequently found to be using more than one medium. However, constraints in the classroom lowered the overall incidence of concurrent media exposure to levels below those recorded for adults in previous studies.
  • Less media time than adults? – Due to lower levels of media consumption in school compared to adults’ media use in the workplace, overall time spent with media for teens in the study was less than previously recorded for adults.
  • However, when time out of school is looked at in isolation, teen media consumption achieved and may have exceeded total time spent with media for adults in previous studies.
  • It’s all about screens – The dominance of screen-based media, as compared to types among this group when out of school, stands in stark contrast to both overall levels of media use and the presence of print during the school day. Screen-based prime time starts immediately after school and carries on until bedtime. The study also found that levels of activity were observed before the start of the typical school day.

The importance of the teenage audience to the media industries makes the success of this pilot study particularly compelling, opening the door for studying teen media behaviors on a larger scale, said Mike Bloxham, director of CMD’s Insight and Research.

“The response to our observational research among adults has been extremely positive, but one of the most commonly asked question is ‘can you do this with teenagers,'” Bloxham said. “We designed the pilot to answer that question. Hence, the small sample size.

“Having learned that we can apply the methodology to that challenging audience, we are now planning to design a much larger observational study of teen media use, encompassing school days, weekends and vacation time, to provide the same kind of insights that our previous studies have for adult media consumption,” he said.

The report is available in PDF at

Center for Media Design

Ball State’s Center for Media Design (CMD) is part of the $20 million Digital Exchange initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. to enhance the university’s innovative, immersive, educational experiences for students in digital technology.

CMD administers four institutes: the News Research Institute (NRI), the Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education (IDEE), the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA) and the Institute for Digital Fabrication (IDF).

Source: BSU News Center

Broadcasting & Cable

by John Eggerton

Attention NBC and ABC and everyone else increasingly streaming their TV shows on the Web: Primetime for the valuable teen-age audience isn’t 8 p.m.-11 p.m.; it’s from the minute they get home from school to when they hit the sack.

That’s according to a new study from Ball State University, “High School Media Too: A School Day in the Lives of Fifteen Teenagers.”

Taking a page from its Middletown Media Studies, Ball State’s Center for Media Design tracked the media usage of 15 teens for one day.

Conceding that such a small sample can’t be extrapolated to an entire population, Ball State researchers said the intriguing patterns could get further study in a bigger sample.

“The dominance of screen-based media, as compared to types among this group when out of school, stands in stark contrast to both overall levels of media use and the presence of print during the school day,” said the study. Screen-based primetime starts immediately after school and carries on until bedtime.”

It also noted some before-school screen time.

MediaPost Media Magazine

by Lauren Berger

Teens sound off on cell phones, social networks, and why they can’t log off

E-mail is obsolete, cell phones are rarely used for talking, social networking is an addiction and computers get equal time with TV. Welcome to teenage America.

On a typical weekday morning, 17-year-old Columbus, Ohio high school student Anne McCaffrey wakes up to the soulful whispers of sleepy-voiced rocker, John Mayer, or the twangy chorus of an upbeat Kenny Chesney number – whichever happens to pop up on her iPod playlist first. After a quick shower and last-minute wardrobe change, she searches through hundreds of burned CD’s for a suitable drive-to-school soundtrack. In class, Anne ditches her beloved tunes for the teen-mastered art of stealth texting, engaging in multiple, full-length conversations from beneath her desk. But thanks to an iPod-friendly after-school job twisting pretzels at Auntie Anne’s, the self-proclaimed music junkie can resume her habit. (“The customers don’t mind.”) Read the rest of this entry »

Who Are We

Insight and Research at the Center for Media Design (CMD) has begun to receive quite a bit of attention from industry publications and mainstream media outlets in the last several years as a groundbreaking and reputable media research organization. This archive is only for educational purpose, if the content involved any copyright issue, please contact: Michelle Prieb:
March 2021



Insight and research in the News