User-Generated Online Content Is Way Up—Teens Lead The Way

According to a State of the Media Democracy 2007 study recently complete by Deloitte, user-generated content is in big demand on the Web. Over 50 percent of adults now report watching or reading online content created by other Web users including blogs and streaming video. Among Millennials (those ages 13 - 24), that figure rises to 71 percent.

In addition, the study states over 40 percent of all consumers are now creating online content (videos, photos, blogs, etc) for themselves or others. The study also said the traditional media such as TV, magazines and books remain “deeply engaging” to most consumers with 72 percent of respondents reporting they still read print magazines even if those magazines are available online.

Another report confirms the next generation of adults will also be experienced online content contributors. A Pew Internet report shows 64 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 have created online content. This might be in the form of their own web page, blogs, uploading photos, sharing artwork or publishing a video to the Web.

In addition to the above statistics, the Pew report also revealed that 55 percent of teens in this same group had created a profile on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace.

The study also identified a subset of teens that it labeled as super-communicators. They used all the communications channels available almost simultaneously. This includes landline telephones, cell phones, texting, social networking sites, email and instant messaging.

These super-communicators are the ones giving marketers heartburn because they are a very difficult group to reach through “normal” advertising channels. In addition, because of the networking affect and peer interaction brought about through all this communication, there can be considerable consequences regarding brand affinity in many product categories. This is no longer a group that is easy to market to; you have to market with them, and that’s a difficult change for some marketers to make.

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