A new survey by Toronto-based researcher Youth Culture reports that around 87% of Canadian teenagers regularly spend time online, often at the expense of TV viewing.

Telephone interviews with 450 parents and 1,000 teenagers aged 12-17 reveal that 34% of teens are spending less time watching TV since going online. An average of 9.3 hours weekly is spent online, roughly equivalent to TV viewing. Favored internet activities include email, chat, music, games and homework research. Eighty-five per cent of teens feel the internet helps them learn and 33% want more online time at school.

Says Youth Culture president Doug Stewart: "The teen generation is the first … to grow up with the internet all around them." He calls the survey’s findings "a wake-up call" for Canadian marketers who pour money into TV to reach the younger set.

Stewart compares a forecast spend this year of an estimated $2 billion on TV advertising alongside the $75 million predicted for online ads. "There's a real disconnect there," he says. “There's going to really be a shake-out."

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily