Teens Use Cell Phones to Stay in Touch with Family and Friends, Not to Look 'Cool'

New Research From OTX and eCRUSH Shows Teens' Practicality with Mobile

OTX (Online Testing eXchange), a leading global consumer research and consulting firm, released new results from its Teen Topix study.

The Teen Topix survey taps into the complex lives of the 13-17 year old set and is done in conjunction with eCRUSH, a leading PG-13 social networking site. 750 teens across the country were surveyed about their mobile phone preferences and behavior.

A key finding of the study was insight into the way cell phones make teens 'feel' and the benefits they get from cell phone ownership.

When asked about benefits, a majority of teens cited reasons such as 'convenience of being able to communicate from anywhere (77%)' and 'security of being able to reach family (75%)' as major benefits. Much lower on the list were friends' admiration of their cell phone features (41%) or look (39%).

When asked specifically how cell phones made them 'feel', teens again opted for connectivity with friends (71%), connectivity with family (63%) and being responsible (61%), over important (31%), fashionable (30%), or trendy (27%).

How does owning a cell phone make you feel Total Teens
Connected with friends 71%
Connected with family 63%
Responsible 61%
Safe 58%
Cool 46%
Like I fit in with everyone else 34%
High tech 33%
Important 31%
Fashionable 30%
Trendy 27%
Older than I actually am 17%
Too accessible 10%
Concerned about potential health hazards
related to using the phone 4%

Benefits of owing a cell phone Total Teens
The convenience of being able to communicate from 77%
The security of always being able to reach my family 75%
The convenience of never being out of touch 72%
The ability to multitask 63%
The fun of having entertainment on the go (games,
music, video) on my phone 56%
The ability to express myself by adding wallpaper,
ringtones or skins 53%
My friends admire my phone because of the features it
has 41%
My friends admire my phone because of the way it
looks 39%

"This release of Teen Topix sheds new light on many marketers' image of teens," said Amy Gibby, President of eCRUSH. "Its not all about 'look' and 'fashion' when it comes to this category, teens are practical and look for many of the same benefits we all do."

The study also found that of all the gadgets and devices available today, the cell phone is a teen favorite. 51% of teens said they "absolutely could not live without" their cell phones. When teens were asked about the mobile phone features they have and use, text messaging was overwhelmingly cited as the feature they use most (72%), followed by the ability to customize wall paper (72%), take digital pictures (63%), and play games which come with the phone (56%).

Much lower on the list was downloading music (36%), and downloading videos (22%) Text messaging was also cited as the feature teens want most (among those that don't have this feature), well ahead of taking digital pictures, downloading music, or using an instant messenger program.

Features teens have and use
on their cell phones Total Teens
Text Message (SMS) 72%
Customize my phone with wallpapers 72%
Take digital photos/videos 63%
Play games (which come with the
phone) 56%
Picture Message (MMS) 51%
Download ringtones 51%
Download graphics such as
screensavers, wallpapers or pictures 41%
Instant Message or IM (through
AOL, Yahoo, MSN, etc) 40%
Download music 36%
Download games 33%
Surf the internet / view websites 30%
Download videos (long and
short form) 22%
Listen to FM Radio 19%
Get sports scores 18%
GPS (Global Positioning System) 16%
Watch regular TV 12%

Which of the following cell phone
features do you want most Total Teens
Text Message (SMS) 45%
Take digital photos/videos 29%
Surf the internet / view websites 24%
Download music 24%
Watch regular TV 21%
Instant Message or IM (through
AOL, Yahoo, MSN, etc) 19%
Download videos (long and short
form) 19%
Listen to FM Radio 16%
Picture Message (MMS) 15%
GPS (Global Positioning System) 14%
Download ringtones 13%
Customize my phone with
wallpapers or pictures of my favorite
TV stars, cartoon characters or
sports stars 4%
Play games (which come with the phone) 7%
Download games 4%
Get sports scores 4%
Download graphics such as
screensavers, wallpapers or pictures 3%

And, cell phones are rapidly becoming the "new" medium for viewing music videos! 41% of teens surveyed have video downloading capability on their cell phones and approximately half of those teens are actually downloading and viewing videos.

Among these teens, music videos are the most watched type (67%), followed by user generated content (27%), full length TV shows (24%) and clips from TV shows (24%). 31% of teens who watch video on their cell phones also reported that their consumption of TV, DVDs, and movies has not decreased.

"As media companies move into the mobile space, it's critically important to understand how the teen demographic uses mobile technology for entertainment and the extent to which this usage affects their other media and leisure time behaviors," said Bruce Friend, President, Media and Entertainment Insights for OTX.

What type of videos are you watching on your cell phone? Total Teens
Music videos 67%
User generated content (videos
like the ones you can watch on
YouTube.com) 27%
Full length TV shows 24%
Clips from TV shows 24%
Movie trailers 23%
Full length movies 23%
News clips 12%
Other 4%

Since you have been watching videos on your cell phone, do you do any of the following
less often? Total Teens
Watch DVDs 27%
Watch TV 27%
See movies in a theater 26%
Watch video on my MP3
player (video iPod or Zune) 25%
Watch video on my computer
(desktop or laptop) 22%
None of the above 31%

About OTX (Online Testing eXchange)

OTX (Online Testing eXchange) is a global consumer research and consulting firm that has established itself as a leading provider of online-based research. The company specializes in providing innovative, cutting-edge online technology, products and analysis to the marketing, entertainment and advertising communities. OTX has developed the most innovative products available for online research today -- products that work to uncover deeper and more profound consumer insight. Today the company is one of the fastest growing research companies in the United States and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Cincinnati, Miami, Chicago and London, with strategic partners in Japan, Australia, Russia and China.

About eCRUSH

The eCRUSH Network, acquired by Hearst Magazines Digital Media in January 2007, is a group of PG-13 sites related to universal truths of crushing, flirting, and all forms of teen connectivity.
-- eCRUSH(R) is the original "crush" site -- a way for users to find out
anonymously if someone they like feels the same about them, with no
chance of rejection. The site launched on Valentine's Day 1999, and has
matched close to 1MM users.
-- eSPIN(R) is a profile-based site that offers the old junior-high game
with a modern twist. Designed with safety in mind (all youth
submissions are screened to remove any personally identifiable
information and inappropriate content before they can be posted), this
is the premier way for gen-Y to connect, flirt and make new friends
online. Launched in 2001, eSPIN-the-Bottle(TM) has over 2,500,000 users
and is growing rapidly.
-- Surveys4Teens is an email based resource for teens who are interested
in age-appropriate research. Surveys4Teens has a unique audience of
over 250,000 teens.

Source: OTX
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 4, 2007 /PRNewswire/ --

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