Newad TNS Canada Survey

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

There are no huge surprises here, we think: A survey conducted by Montreal-based Newad in collaboration with TNS Canada shows that 18-to-34 year-old Canadians definitely surpass the total Canadian adult population in their use of the web, mobiles and social networks.

Possibly one of the most interesting facts is the fact that 21% of 18-to-34 year-olds own both a cell phone and a smart phone.

However, the facts and figures overall should be of interest to advertisers trying to reach this young, mobile and tech-savvy market across Canada.

The survey was conducted in early January, among a sample of 2,943 Canadian adults.

“Some research findings confirm what we already observed among young adults, but others make us realize how rapidly their consumption of digital platforms is increasing,” says Michael Reha, president and CEO of Newad.

The popularity of social networks is constantly growing. The survey results indicate that 88% of 18-to-34 year-old Internet users have a Facebook account (19% higher that the total Canadian adult population) and 27% have a Twitter account (80% more than the total Canadian adult population). Even LinkedIn is slightly more popular with this age group (13%) than with all adults (11%).

However, while many predicted the rapid expansion of Foursquare, only 3% of 18-to-34 year-olds have adopted the two-year-old platform. On the other hand, half of the young adults who have a Twitter account follow at least one brand (47% compared to 37% for the total adult population). Moreover, 25% of 18-to-34 year-old social media users microblog daily.

On Facebook, main activities include Like-ing (65%) and commenting (65%) on a friend’s status or shared content (photos, videos, articles). Also, Facebook users that are between 18 and 34 years old are very often fans of brands (56% compared to 43% for all adults). Nike, Coke and Apple are among their favorites.

The 18-to-34 year-old social media proponents spend 13.8 hours, day and night, on their favourite platforms.

In mobility, texts are as popular as conversations. Young adults are taking center stage on web platforms due to the popularity of smart phones. 43% of 18-to-34 year-olds own a smart phone (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.), a percentage that is 79% higher than the entire adult population (24%). On a daily basis, 18-to-34 year-olds-now use text messaging (58%) as often as their mobile device’s telephone feature (55%). On average, they send 23 texts a day. 86% of 18-to-34 year-olds own a mobile phone, and 21% of 18-to-34 year-olds own both a cell phone and a smart phone.

The popularity of free offers is reflected in the field of mobile applications: 44% of the 18-to-34 year-olds surveyed about their cell phone use say that they downloaded a free application during the week of the study, as opposed to 16% who downloaded an application they had to pay for.

Personal video recorderss and portable devices are growing in popularity:
30% of 18-to-34 year-olds own a PVR, 20% more than the total adult population. Their frequent use of PVRs is explained by the fact that half of their TV viewing occurs after the shows air – they like watching their shows whenever they want. Also, 18-to-34 year-olds are more likely to own a laptop (75%) than a desktop computer (71%).

In addition, Newad’s survey results reveal that a segment of these 18-to-34 year-old Canadians exceed the average time spent on social networks. These key targets of Newad, the Young & Affluent consumers – compared to all 18-to-34 year-old Canadians – live in urban centers, have higher purchasing power, and consume more than average 18-to-34 year-olds.

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