Stanford Research: Youth Media Use Continues to Rise

Last Updated Mar 21, 2010 11:24 PM EDT

Good news for marketers trying to reach the youth demographic: today's 8- to 18-year-olds spend more time plugged into the media than ever before, often engaging with several different types of media at once.

Stanford researchers in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation found that today's youth spends a whopping seven hours and 38 minutes a day with entertainment media. But due to "media multi-tasking," they're actually consuming 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of content during that time.

How much time are young people spending with different types of media? Here's the breakdown:

  • Nine minutes a day reading magazines; three minutes reading print newspapers; two minutes reading online magazines and newspapers
  • Twenty-two minutes a day with social networking sites; 17 minutes playing online games; 15 minutes at video sites like YouTube
  • Four hours and 29 minutes a day watching television, including TV programs viewed online
While viewers' time watching regularly-scheduled programs declined slightly from previous years, 45 percent of respondents said that the TV stays on "most of the time" in their homes, even when no one is watching. This high level of media use creates endless opportunities for marketers; however, the results are less promising for the respondents: 47 percent of heavy media users reported getting grades of Cs and lower, while only 25 percent of light media users fared as poorly in school.

"The amount of time young people spend with media has grown to where it's even more than a full-time work week," said Drew Altman, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, in a press release. "When children are spending this much time doing anything, we need to understand how it's affecting them -- for good and bad."

Image courtesy of Flickr user phrenzee, CC 2.0.

  • Stacy Blackman

    Stacy Sukov Blackman is president of Stacy Blackman Consulting, where she consults on MBA admissions. She earned her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Stacy serves on the Board of Directors of AIGAC, the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants, and has published a guide to MBA Admissions, The MBA Application Roadmap.