College Kids Are the Digital Demo.

Posted by truecreek on October 14, 2009 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By eMarketer.

College students are the most connected demographic group in the US. They own multiple electronic devices and are a prime audience for online video.

eMarketer estimates 18.2 million college students, 95.7% of the total, will go online at least once a month in 2009. As Internet usage becomes ubiquitous, the percentage of students online is growing more slowly, rising to an estimated 96.8% in 2013.

“Not only is Internet access widely prevalent, but so is technology ownership in general,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “College Students: Connecting with the Connected Crowd.” “Since students own multiple devices, they want to use those devices to interact with friends and information in multiple ways. They care less about what method they use for their interactions and more about how easy and seamless those interactions are.”

College Kids are the Digital Demo

Students are heavy consumers of online video—but also regular TV. They use social networking Websites to stay in touch with their friends—but rely on text messaging as well. And smartphones, which are becoming more and more common on campus, give students the ability to do many activities without touching a computer at all.

Despite the fears of some industry-watchers, college students are not abandoning social networks now that the sites have caught on among their elders.

“So far, that is not happening,” said Ms. Williamson. “In fact, the opposite is true. Students are more likely than ever to use social network sites.”

EDUCAUSE, which has tracked social network usage on campus for the past several years, found that the percentage of students visiting sites such as Facebook or MySpace on a daily basis has more than doubled in the past three years, from 32.9% in 2006 to 66.2% in 2009.

“But other indicators bear watching,” cautions Ms. Williamson. “One is how often students visit social networks and how much time they spend there.”

Still, in May 2009 Youth Trends found that Facebook was the No. 3 source among college students for learning about new products and services, after word-of-mouth and television commercials. Social networks remain a viable venue for marketing to the college crowd.

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