School’s Out for Summer

Jun 5, 2006  •  Post A Comment

We hear a great deal about the evolving media habits of America’s teenagers (defined here as those ages 13 to 17). Some news reports and anecdotal “evidence” could lead you to believe the average teenager will be busy surfing the Web, downloading music, text messaging friends, and switching channels while “viewing” TV-sometimes simultaneously.

One popular notion is that if the TV is even on, it has been relegated to the background for this techno-obsessed group.

Hundreds of teenagers participate in IAG surveys every day of the year. They answer questions about the content of programs they viewed yesterday, whether it’s “Punk’d” on MTV or a Lifetime movie or “SportsCenter” on ESPN or any programming on the 16 networks that are measured by IAG Research. These daily surveys provide a broader and more objective look at how teens are watching traditional TV.

One of the advantages of the very large sample and ongoing measurement of TV is that they provide users the ability to dig deep and uncover insights for a particular demographic target. This week TelevisionWeek‘s IAG data features the most engaged shows among teens.

Among series airing on the six broadcast networks, there are wide variations in program engagement scores. The half-dozen programs listed in the table below are viewed far more closely than other series.

Two “teen favorites” are among those at the top of the list, “The O.C.” and “One Tree Hill.” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” enjoys a teen engagement score that is 27 percent higher than the average of all series airing on that network.