The Kids Are Alright

Posted by

When the habits of young people shifts, all of us Marketing hacks take one look and say, "yup, that’s where we’re heading." More often than not, it is the case.

There might be some kind of irony that the NPD Group has released a new study, Kids and Digital Content III, around the same time that CES is happening in Las Vegas. As people trot along the tradeshow floor, checking out the latest and greatest in anything and everything electronics you can imagine, this new report might act more like a downer for anyone who shelled out the shekels for booth space and hotel suite parties. The good news is that as far as the eye can see, the content may be going digital, but we still need something physical to play it all on.

The study found, "an increasing number of kids acquiring their entertainment content digitally rather than through physical means in 2008."

That was one of the many interesting sentences from the Media In Canada news item, Kids choose digital content over physical format.

"The report also examines the use of entertainment content on CE devices among kids in the same age group, focusing on content acquisition on computers, portable digital music/video players (PDMP), cell phones and video game systems. Though each device is traditionally associated with one type of content (ringtones on cell phones, for example), NPD found that CE convergence is on the rise, with more cell phone users in the age group listening to music and sending/receiving images on their handsets than in previous years. PDMP users were also watching music videos on their portable players. Also, kids spent 12% of the time on their video game systems watching movies."

It is, without question, habit forming. For many years, I have been pushing the idea that many of the more advanced gaming consoles were much more than that. These gaming platforms are quickly becoming the entertainment center of the entire house. It acts as the place to host and play music and movies, connect with friends, share pictures and, oh yeah, play games as well (and the price is fairly affordable if you contrast it with the many appliances and hardware that your parents used to need to power the den). Clearly, the gaming systems are the gateway, but here we are – once again – faced with incredible challenges for both the content producers and the media companies.

Maybe all of those traditional companies need to stop sniffing around the Blogs and Online Social Networks, and need to be looking a little further into the future at gaming consoles and other channels where the media might be centralized and consumed?


  1. Interesting as always, Mitch. With the speed at which technology and all of our media consumption is developing — entertainment or otherwise — it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this time next year the “decline of print media” dialogue would be old news; and instead will be centered around your final question.

  2. Sounds like another bunch of out-of-touch oldsters in the vein of Don Tapscott trying to capitalize on the “You don’t know squat, hire my high-priced agency to tell you what’s really going on” movement to generate buzz around their brand.
    Anyway, love the podcast, Mitch! Been a faithful listener for 2 yrs. Keep up the good work.

  3. I think that all of the new and emerging channels are going to be important. Certainly, the shift in demographic that is coming our way is going to change and I think that the big challenge for companies is how they reliably and appropriately serve customers across all these channels.

  4. i’m wondering if at the point where
    wireless interactivity of games and rendering realism converge we will see the end of TV programming.
    Imagine being able to star in your own version of 24, or have a game of hockey, or just sit back and watch the computer play out scripted scenarios. The product placement folks would have a field day because there’s no fast forward button.

Comments are closed.