March 09, 2001

Interep released a new research report today entitled, "The Teen Market/ Targeting Generation Y: Marketing Facts and Media Choices." The report shows that teens, now a coveted target for a variety of advertisers, exert control over billions of dollars each year on everything from clothing and CDs, to the family’s choice of grocery brands.

According to an analysis of Mediamark Research, 55% of teens say that they 'sometimes' or 'often' decide what brands the household will buy each week. Some of the products cited over which teens have a 'strong' influence include Health & Beauty products, Snack Foods and Beverages.

When spending on themselves, the top categories include Shoes, Clothing, Computer Software and Video Games. Their personal cash supply comes from parents, gifts and earned income. Among older teens, 53% work full or part-time, and over 30% earn over $100 per week. Another draw for advertisers is that the vast majority of this estimated $155 billion in annual teen
spending is discretionary.

The report also found that music continues to be a major force in teens’ lives. Of the Top 10 personalities that teens say they 'like very much,' six are musicians or musical groups. For marketers, this means that music venues, including radio, offer prime advertising environments. About 90% of teens listen to radio during Monday-Friday drive times. Radio formats with the highest concentration of teen listeners include CHR, Urban Contemporary and Alternative, or Modern Rock.

According to Michele Skettino, VP Marketing Communications/Interep, "Radio and teens have always been a natural fit. Even with the influx of new media over the past few years, our research shows that the majority of teens still listen to radio each day." She continues, "While listener loyalty can span all ages, it appears even more pronounced among teen radio listeners. When an advertiser runs a campaign on 'their' (the teens’) station, the impact of that message is magnified."

In the realm of non-traditional media, the latest research shows that about 8 out of 10 teens have Internet access. Almost equal percentages had accessed the Internet at-home (46%) as compared to at a library or school (44%). The top uses were e-mail, studying/research and browsing the web.

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