A 15 year-old working in Morgan Stanley’s London office has written what may be the firm’s most popular research report in years. In it, he explains that none of his friends read newspapers and few watch TV. He also, interestingly, says none of them use Twitter, because no one reads the tweets texting costs money.
The latter problem will presumably go away once the carriers’ stronghold on pricing has finally been broken and London teens can tweet for free (hurry up, iPhone). The former? Unlikely.
In any event, the report has electrified the investment world, which appears to have suddenly clued into the fact that traditional media is in trouble.
Andrew Edgecliff-Johnson, FT: A research note written by a 15-year-old… has become the talk of middle-aged media executives and investors.
Morgan Stanley‘s European media analysts asked Matthew Robson, one of the bank’s interns from a London school, to describe his friends’ media habits…. The response was enormous. “We’ve had dozens and dozens of fund managers, and several CEOs, e-mailing and calling all day…”
As elderly media moguls gathered at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, to fawn over Twitter and fret over their business models, Mr Robson set out a sobering case that tomorrow’s consumers are using more and more media but are unwilling to pay for it.
“Teenagers do not use Twitter,” he pronounced. Updating the micro-blogging service from mobile phones costs valuable credit, he wrote, and “they realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless”.
His peers find it hard to make time for regular television, and would rather listen to advert-free music on websites such as Last.fm than tune into traditional radio. Even online, teens find advertising “extremely annoying and pointless”.
Their time and money is spent instead on cinema, concerts and video game consoles which, he said, now double as a more attractive vehicle for chatting with friends than the phone.
Mr Robson had little comfort for struggling print publishers, saying no teenager he knew regularly reads a newspaper since most “cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text” rather than see summaries online or on television.
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