'Bedroom Project' Unveiled At NAB
September 26, 2007 at 2:17 PM (PT)
Consultant FRED JACOBS presented the "Bedroom Project" study of how young adults use digital media in their everyday lives to an audience at the NAB RADIO SHOW in CHARLOTTE on WEDNESDAY.
The ethnographic survey by JACOBS MEDIA, in conjunction with ARBITRON, was conducted in the subjects' own homes, dorms, bedrooms and living spaces by peer interviewers in LOS ANGELES and COLUMBUS, OH. JACOBS described the results as "spectacular," crediting the youthful peer interviewers for putting the respondents at ease. JACOBS noted that the three values recurring most often in the interviews are "control, variety, and choice."
Broadcast radio was not a major part of respondents' use of media ... radio is generally not listened to in the home by young adults, and noted that radio's stronghold, the car, is being encroached upon by iPods.
Cells and Texting
The hour's worth of video interviews included substantial disdain by respondents for their parents' lack of technological savvy; respondents also showed great reliance on their cell phones ("without this phone, I wouldn't have a life") and great expectations for the future of the device, essentially predicting the features that later showed up on APPLE's iPhone.
The study also devoted an entire section to texting, which JACOBS said may be usurping instant messaging online and which he said raises another generational divide, since respondents said their parents don't know how to send text messages. iPods and other MP3 players were a ubiquitous presence in respondents' lives, with only two respondents not owning one (and embarrassed to admit it). Most showed little interest in podcasts, however.
Socializing And Gaming
Respondents said they use the Internet not only for social networking sites and YouTube, but for utilitarian purposes like banking and job searches. On the other hand, the subjects seemed uninterested in streaming audio, due, speculated JACOBS, to a lack of "control, variety and choice." He also noted that younger people use MySpace and Facebook in lieu of e-mail, which some characterize as "for old people." JACOBS noted that social networking sites are "eating up a lot" of young people's online time and are being used to manage existing friendships rather than to make new friends.
In the wake of the release of "HALO 3," JACOBS cited the game's instant success as an example of how important games are to young adults. JACOBS also noted that some respondents seemed wary of the peril of addiction to gaming while others deny a problem ("I can quit any time I want"). Television, among "old media," was cited by JACOBS as an example of a medium becoming a social networking tool, with respondents passionate about their favorite shows and retaining control using TIVO, DVDs, and online episodes to watch what they want, when they want it.
The respondents were aware of, and interested in, satellite radio, but few had pulled the trigger on purchasing it. But broadcast radio was not a major part of respondents' use of media; discussion of radio needed the extra push of interviews in subjects' cars, with respondents mildly interested but unenthusiastic about radio in general (except for some high-profile personalities, who had their fans in the group). JACOBS focused on how radio is generally not listened to in the home by young adults, and noted that radio's stronghold, the car, is being encroached upon by iPods.