European teens prefer games to TV and the web

10 December 2009

LONDON: Teenagers in Europe spend more time playing videogames than watching television or using the web, new research from Forrester has found.

The research firm surveyed 1,400 people aged between 12 and 17 years old in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

It discovered that participants played videogames for an average of 11.7 hours each week, a figure that fell to 10.3 hours for viewing content on TV, and 9.1 hours for using the internet for personal reasons.

Some 44% of its panel visited Facebook at least once every seven days, while 30% read blogs with the same degree of frequency, with this demographic being twice as likely to comment on such material as older netizens.

Overall, however, streaming online video was the most popular reason for accessing the web, with YouTube the dominant portal in all countries except France, where DailyMotion held this position.

Simultaneous media use is also common among this cohort, with half of contributors listening to music and surfing the net at the same time, and 45% combining TV and the internet in such a way.

Moreover, 47% of this latter group spoke with their friends online about what they were watching on TV in real time, compared with 28% of consumers over the age of 18 who did the same.

Nick Thomas, an analyst at Forrester, said "in a post-media-meltdown universe, the attitudes and habits of these 'digital natives' provide a great insight into how the future media landscape will evolve."

"Companies seeking to engage these users must, however, understand the significant differences in behaviour between teens in different countries: localisation, as well as the prioritisation, is vital.”

Data sourced from Paid Content, Brand Republic; additional content by Warc staff