Honestly, I am not sure what to make of this. Bloomberg has reported that Morgan Stanley, at least its European arm, has produced a report with insights into the mind of one Matthew Robson. He is a 15 year old intern at the securities firm (doing what I might ask?). Apparently this young man has the pulse of every teenager regardless of economic background etc when it comes to how they consume media.
The schoolboy was asked by the bank’s European media analysts to report on what he and his peers look for in the information-entertainment industries. What they got was one of the “clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen,” the analysts said.
“Teenagers are consuming more media, but in entirely different ways and are almost certainly not prepared to pay for it,” Morgan Stanley analysts Edward Hill-Wood, Patrick Wellington and Julien Rossi said in a note, citing Robson.
My question is where are the rest of the voices to back this up? I am not thinking that this youngster is wrong. In fact, his insights certainly seem to make sense. For a firm like Morgan Stanley, though, to parade one European teenager’s view on new media in a report as ‘the word’ is pretty weak.
While I am way past my teenage years I wouldn’t want just one person from my current demographic group to be representative of my views. Media is a very personal thing and the nuances from one user to the next can be considerable. Sure there are likely to be trends but those things are determined responsibly with a larger set of subjects than …… one.
Here’s some of what the boy wonder had to say
Among Robson’s insights: Teenagers don’t twitter; they resent intrusive advertising on billboards, television and the Internet and they are willing to chase content and music across platforms and devices such as mobile phones and Apple Inc.’s IPod. They do not listen to the radio, preferring music Websites that stream music for free and allow them to choose their songs. They are “very reluctant” to pay for music and 80 percent download it illegally. Most have never bought a CD, he says.
What conclusions did I draw from this? Well, nothing that helps my business sense other than if he has the pulse of this group they appear to be a group that won’t pay for much and are just fine with breaking the law to get what they want. That’s so encouraging.
Some more wisdom that was passed along:
- Newspapers and other print media are “irrelevant,” while movies and music concerts remain popular and are one of the “few beneficiaries of payment,” the report said.
- Teenagers from higher-income families use iPods, while those from lower-income families use mobile phones to listen to music
Every teenager has access to the Internet, be it at school or at home, and most of them are “heavily active” on several social networking sites with Facebook being the most common
- Teenagers don’t use Twitter, the short-form Web messaging service, adding they realize that their ‘tweets’ are pointless as no one is viewing their profile
- In his own summary on “what is hot,” Robson says it includes “anything with a touch screen,” “mobile phones with large capacities for music,” “portable devices that can connect to the Internet such as iPhones” and “really big” television sets.
This report elicited about 6 times the response over other reports according to Morgan Stanley. I wonder whether these ‘responses’ were in praise of this ‘in depth’ survey or bewilderment that the company is now using 15 year old interns to influence markets.