Teens Like Mobile Phones’ Practicality and Are Using Them More for Video

November 16, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Telecom | Videogames | Youth & Gen X

Teens overwhelmingly cite convenience – not the “coolness factor” – for having and using cell phones, and they’ve begun to download and watch videos on their phones, according to (pdf) recent results from the OTX (Online Testing eXchange) Teen Topix study that looks into the lives of 13-17-year-olds.

The OTX study was conducted in conjunction with eCRUSH. Some 750 teens across the country were surveyed about their mobile phone preferences and behavior.

Teens cited reasons such as convenience of being able to communicate from anywhere (77%) and security of being able to reach family (75%) as major benefits of cell phones. Much lower on the list were friends’ admiration of their cell phone features (41%) or its look (39%).


Asked specifically how cell phones made them feel, teens again opted for connectedness with friends (71%) and family (63%) and feeling responsible (61%), over feeling important (31%), fashionable (30%) or trendy (27%).

The study also found that of all the gadgets and devices available today, the cell phone is a teen favorite: 51% of teens said they “absolutely could not live without” their cell phones.

Asked about the mobile phone features they have and use, text messaging was overwhelmingly cited as the feature they use most (72%), followed by the ability to customize wallpaper (72%), take digital pictures (63%), and play games that come with the phone (56%).

Much lower on the list was downloading music (36%), and downloading videos (22%). Text messaging was also cited as the feature teens want most (among those that don’t have this feature), well ahead of taking digital pictures, downloading music, or using an instant messenger program.


However, cell phones are rapidly becoming the “new” medium for viewing music videos: 41% of teens surveyed have video-downloading capability on their cell phones, and approximately half of those teens are actually downloading and viewing videos.

Among these teens, music videos are the most watched type (67%), followed by user-generated content (27%), full-length TV shows (24%) and clips from TV shows (24%).

Some 31% of teens who watch video on their cell phones reported that their consumption of TV, DVDs, and movies has not decreased.


“As media companies move into the mobile space, it’s critically important to understand how the teen demographic uses mobile technology for entertainment and the extent to which this usage affects their other media and leisure time behaviors,” said Bruce Friend, President, Media and Entertainment Insights for OTX.

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