One-Third of US Tweens Own a Mobile Phone

December 3, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Out-of-Home | Telecom | Youth & Gen X

More than one-third of US tweens (ages 8-12) own a mobile phone, and those who access TV, music and the internet on their phones tend do so at home, according to a Nielsen study on the mobile media and cross media behavior of US tweens.

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.

Some 5% of tweens access the internet over their phone each month, according to Nielsen, and  41% of tween mobile internet users say they do so while commuting or traveling (to school, for example).

However, mobile content 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.

Regarding cross-media behavior of tweens, Nielsen reports that tweens spend less time surfing the internet than their teen counterparts:

  • Some 48% of US 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 US teens say they spend one hour or more per day online, with email being the most pervasive online activity for this age group.

“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 Jeff Herrmann, VP of Mobile Media for Nielsen Mobile.

The report, “Kids on the Go: Mobile Usage by US 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.


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