Five Facts About The Media Consumption Of Teens

American teenagers are very in tune with technology today because they grew up during a time when technology was constantly evolving. This teenage demographic knew to “Google” any question they had and saw the birth of Facebook – in fact they actually had to wait until they turned 13 to officially join. So it makes sense that this demographic would be on the cutting edge of media. Here are five important facts about the media consumption of today’s American teens.

  1. Smartphone and tablet devices are growing faster than other devices. Households with teens are seeing smartphone and tablet ownership grow faster than other devices such as laptops, DVD players, and gaming consoles. From Q4 2011 to Q4 2012, smartphone penetration increased for teens and adults 18-24 by 45% and 32%, respectively.
  1. Teens are watching more video on mobile devices than 18-34 year olds; however, TV is still the winning platform for video consumption.


  1. Teens listen to music most often for approximately 5.8 hours each week according to a 2012 Nielsen Music 360 report. Teens also have the most music apps–approximately seven–on their smartphones.

There are many new ways to listen to music today; the top sources for teen music consumption are:

  • YouTube (64%)
  • Radio (56%)
  • iTunes (53%)
  • CD (50%)
  1. Teen concern for privacy has decreased in the last six years (from 2006 to 2012). In addition to the information in the chart below 92% of teens post their real names, 82% post their birthdays, 62% post their relationship status and 24% post videos of themselves. Gender also plays a role in what types of information are held more private. For example, boys are 85% more likely to share their personal phone numbers than girls (26% vs. 14%).


  1. Facebook is not dead. Teens are more likely to jump onto the newest platform, but they are not leaving Facebook. In a focus group hosted by Pew Internet for its Teen, Social Media, and Privacy Report, teens voiced diminishing enthusiasm for Facebook. There is a dislike for the platform now with their parents on Facebook and friend “drama.” However, there is a large amount of social interaction still taking place here and it is important for teens to not be left out of the discussion.

If you are interested in learning more about the social media habits of teens, please read the Pew Internet research study at

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