Tom Webster, writing and speaking

How Teens And Young Adults Feel About Music And Media

Added on by Tom Webster.

Most of my work with Edison is private client work, which means I can't share 95% of the cool data I get to see on a daily basis. So when we are commissioned to conduct a study for public release, I get a little giddy. In late September, we are going to be releasing the 2010 American Youth Study, a landmark study on how 12-34 year-olds consume, discover, and feel about music, media and technology. This study is particularly exciting to me because it is the sequel to a study of 12-24s we conducted way back in 2000 that proved to be a shockingly prescient predictor of many of the issues facing the radio and recording industries today. Who knows what insights the 2010 version will unearth? This study will make its debut at the National Association of Broadcasters annual Radio Show in Washington, D.C. next month, which means that the actual presentation will be primarily focused on how young people discover and share music and other media. The original in this series was focused on Americans 12-24; however, for this "sequel" we will expand to include the same cohort we studied in 2000 - today's 22-34 year olds - to see how their attitudes and actions have changed over the past decade.

What gets me pumped about this study is that it will do far more than just give us usage statistics - though those are important, and this study will indeed be a credible source for such data - and provide insights into just how today's teens and young adults really feel about the music and media they consume, the files they share, and the information they make public on their Facebook pages. I can't wait to dive into the data and share the "spicy meatballs" with you.

Most of the study is written, and we will of course be tracking a lot of the same questions we asked in 2000. There is, however, a tiny bit of space in the study for a little experiment in crowdsourcing. So here goes: I know a lot of you work in agencies, consultancies, and with media publishers of all stripes, so here's your opportunity to gain an insight or two into American youth that you can use for the benefit of your business, your clients or your audience.

If you could learn one piece of information - one key insight - about how American youth perceive, use, discover or share media, what would it be? You don't have to provide the question - that's our job - just the insight you'd most profit from learning. No questions about specific brands, please (you can hire us for that :) ) but otherwise, if it relates to youth and media, I'm all ears. You can leave your ideas in the comments below, use my contact page, or hit me up on the Twitter. The 2-3 topics that are a) most interesting and b) most relevant to the core focus of the study will be explored in the survey, and I'll report the results here.

It's kinda like free research (which it is, actually). So I expect to hear from all you smarties out there :) .