Youth Influence Entertainment Spending

December 14, 2010

harris-youth-influence-on-purchases-dec10.gifRoughly four in 10 US consumers ages 8-24 will personally buy or influence the purchase of entertainment/sporting event tickets in the next month, according to [pdf] a new study from Harris Interactive.

Looking at the influence young consumers have on spending in a variety of discretionary areas, “YouthPulse 2010” data indicates 40% of consumers age 8-12 will buy or influence purchase of entertainment/sporting event tickets in the next month, as will 43% of consumers age 13-17 and 45% of consumers age 18-24.

Youngest Most Influence Ticket, Video Game Purchases

Across all three sub-brackets of the 8-24 age demographic, the largest percentage of respondents cites influence on the purchase of entertainment/sporting event tickets. High percentages of consumers age 8-12 also indicate they will influence the purchase of handheld video games (35%) and video game systems (31%).

Meanwhile, 30% of consumers age 13-17 will influence the purchase of cell phones/smartphones. Twenty-seven percent of consumers in this age bracket will influence the purchase of a video game system, while 24% will influence the purchases of both digital media players and computers.

Besides entertainment/sporting tickets, the highest percentages of 18-to-24-year-olds indicate they will influence the purchases of cell phones/smartphones (29%) and computers (28%).

Youth Spending May Be Rising

Study data suggests youth spending in the US may be on the rebound after declining earlier in the current recession. Total spending among 8-to-21-year-olds was at $132.2 billion in 2007, which dipped to $112.8 billion by 2009. However, this year it is projected to reach $123.5 billion, a roughly 9% increase.

Including 22-to-24-year-olds, youth spending is also projected to rise about 9% year-over-year in 2010, from $219.7 billion to $239.2 billion.

Youth Per Capita Income Slips

Despite increasing projected spending and market influence, per capita income among 13-to-24-year-olds is expected to slightly decline year-over-year in 2010. However, when looking at per capita income from parents and expanding the age range to 8-to-24, year-over-year figures for asking for money (4.5% from $310 to $324) and for doing chores (14% from $168 to $191) are expected to increase.

M&Ms Top Brand among US Youth

Chocolate candy M&Ms rank first in brand equity among US youth age 8-24, according to the Youth EquiTrend study from Harris Interactive. Google ranks second, and is the only online organization youth rank among the top ten brands. Snack food brands Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Oreos rank third and fourth, respectively. Other snack food brands in the top 10 include Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (8) and Doritos (9), as well as fast food provider Subway (7).

Despite the reputation of today’s youth as being tech-savvy and “constantly connected,” the only tech brands in the top 10 besides Google were Apple’s iPod (5) and animated special effects production company Pixar (10).


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