Skip to content

Tweens and Mobile Phones

Some of my research shows that the post-Millennials are even more different.
Gen X grew up with PC’s
Millennials grew up with the web
Post-Millennials are mobile…?
I wonder what’s next. My avatar is interested.
35% of U.S. Tweens Own a Mobile Phone, According to Nielsen
Most Tweens Accessing TV, Music and Internet on their Phones, Do So at Home
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ — The Nielsen Company today
released the findings of an in-depth study on the mobile media and cross
media behavior of U.S. “tweens” (ages 8-12).
The report estimates that:
* 35% of tweens own a mobile phone.
* 20% of tweens have used text messaging.
* 21% of tweens have used ring & answer tones.
While text-messaging and ringtones remain the most pervasive non-voice
functions on the phone, other content such as downloaded wallpapers, music,
games and Internet access also rank highly among tweens.
According to Nielsen, 5% of tweens access the Internet over their phone
each month. While 41% of tween mobile Internet users say they do so while
commuting or traveling (to school, for example), mobile content such as the
Internet is also a social medium for this audience: 26% of tween mobile
Internet users say they access the web while at a friend’s house and 17%
say they do so at social events.
Young mobile users are also turning to their phones for in-home entertainment:
* 58% of tweens who download or watch TV on their phone do so at home;
* 64% of tweens who download or play music on their phone do so at home;
* 56% of tweens who access the Internet on their phone do so at home.
“Tweens use their mobile phones, and media in general, in very unique
and important ways,” said Jeff Herrmann, VP of Mobile Media for Nielsen
Mobile. “Marketers and media executives need to understand these ‘digital
natives’ as they mature and reshape the way we all think about new and
traditional media.”
Regarding cross media behavior of tweens, Nielsen reports that tweens
spend less time surfing the Internet than their teen counterparts. In this
report, 48% of U.S. tweens said they spend less than one hour per day
online. When they are online, 70% of tweens use the Internet for gaming.
Comparatively, 81% of U.S. teens say they spend one hour or more per day
online, with e-mail being the most pervasive online activity for this age
“In addition to the differences between adult and youth media
consumers, there’s an important gap between the media behaviors of teens
and tweens,” said Herrmann. “This report, which includes insights from more
than 5,500 teens and tweens, dissects how these demographic segments are
engaging with mobile and traditional media.”
The report, “Kids on the Go: Mobile Usage by U.S. Teens and Tweens,”
was conducted by Nielsen Mobile and BASES, two services of Nielsen. It also
provides insights on teen and tween use of specific content brands, genre
preferences, overall use of leisure time and demographic profiles. The full
report will be released on December 14.
Nielsen’s research combines insights from survey responses of more than
5,500 teens and tweens from the BASES ePanel. BASES has extensive
experience interviewing children and follows strict guidelines, considering
attention span, comprehension and other factors of the age group. Tween
interviews were paired, where the adult panelist sat with the child. This
results in a average participation rate of 65%. Additional data was
supplied from Nielsen Mobile’s “Bill Panel” of more than 40,000 wireless
lines as well as the third- quarter results from Nielsen Mobile’s
75,000-person Audience and Behavior panel.
About Nielsen Mobile
Nielsen Mobile, a service of The Nielsen Company, is the world’s
largest provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile
media markets. After completing its acquisition of Telephia, Inc. in August
2007, The Nielsen Company launched Nielsen Mobile to integrate Telephia’s
telecom expertise with Nielsen’s global media and marketing research
capabilities. For more information, please visit

Posted on: March 24, 2008, 9:18 am Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. I think this is totally true. I am 16 and I have been growing up with pc’s and aim on them then web..not today’s teens are growing up with mobile everything and I am just starting to get into all that stuff…

  2. I find the number low. I’d love to see the breakdown between the specific ages. Most eight year olds DON’t have their own cells. Most 12 year olds do. My nine year old begged for a cell phone and all he cares about is the bragging rights and ring tone. Oh yeah, he thinks it’s funny to call me while he’s in the car and hear his voice over the bluetooth speakers. Ahh — to be nine.
    From the professional perspective, I specialize in marketing for public, youth serving organizations and they are still struggling with the issues related to “traditional” on-line social networks. Mobile marketing may be an easier sell since it is positioning itself as opt-in only. As a Mom, I say, “Please text me if a soccer game is canceled. Don’t email me or post it on your blog. I’m already on my way!”