Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Teens spend 600% more time online: McKinsey study

Abbey Klaassen reports in AdvertisingAge:

A McKinsey & Co. study predicts that by 2010, traditional TV advertising will be one-third as effective as it was in 1990.

That shocking statistic, delivered to the company's Fortune 100 clients in a report on media proliferation, assumes a 15% decrease in buying power driving by cost-per-thousand rate increases; a 23% decline in ads viewed due to switching off; a 9% loss of attention to ads due to increased multitasking and a 37% decrease in message impact due to saturation.

"You've also got pronounced changes in consumer behavior while they're consuming media," said Tom French, Director, McKinsey. "And ad spending is decreasingly reflecting consumer behavior."

Thank a combination of older technologies such as cable, PC computers, cellphones, CD players, VCRs, game consoles and the Internet, along with more recent ones -- PDAs, broadband Internet, digital cable, home wireless networks, MP3 players, DVRs and VOD-- for those changes. And teens foretell an even more radical shift in future media consumption, the report points out: They spend less than half as much time watching TV as typical adults do. Teens also spend 600% more time online, surfing the web.

According to Forrester Research's most recent North American Consumer Technology Adoption Study, people ages 18 to 26 spend more time online than watching TV and are adopting new technology faster than any other generation. Because of that, they tend to be more receptive to blog, podcast and mobile-web ads.

That leads one to wonder whether consumer marketing mixes should change to reflect consumer behavior.

The answer is not quite -- yet, at least. The Catch-22 is a "chaos scenario" that smart marketers have read about in these pages: a dearth of online-ad supply and the web's generally fragmented nature will keep TV in booming business for the next several years.

"Should everybody shift 30% of their dollars to the web?" asked Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, senior practice knowledge specialist in McKinsey's San Francisco office. "No. There wouldn't be room today if everybody wanted to shift online. Last year [online media] was $12.5 billion, by end of 2007 digital advertising will be $18 to $25 billion. ... So we're seeing a lot of growth, but if you want to match up share of attention and share of dollars it couldn't happen for that reason." The TV ad industry is a $68 billion one.

So what's a marketer to do? Read AdvertisingAge for more details.