Smartphone ownership among American teens will mushroom beyond current 20 per cent – presenting massive opportunities for ad targetting

Research shows that American teenagers have at their disposal an estimated US$200 billion annually in discretionary spending.
The marketing agency Fuse recently interviewed execs from companies like Sony, MTV Networks, Yahoo and Nokia to get their take on what the future of technology will look like for the teen market.

Among the conclusions was that the mobile phone in the US will supplant the PC in terms of popularity for teenagers.
While currently only 20 per cent of US youngsters own a smartphone, both mobile and content companies are certain this rate will rise dramatically.

Bill Carter, a partner at Fuse, presenting his findings at this year’s YPulse Mashup convention in San Fransisco, said smartphones like the iPhone are just the beginning for multi-functional devices.
“Uses of mobile devices will expand to include all kinds of bar code applications and prepaid debit card payment methods,” he said.

This prediction is a large part of the reason why geographic ad targeting to teens is expected to increase dramatically in coming years.

Currently, providers analyse about 4 billion Protocol addresses to provide what is called street-level targeting to consumers.

Companies can then reach teens directly via their phone with ads and info on nearby places to go like nightspots.

“When you combine this new technology with teens giving their permission to market to them, the growth could be exponential,” said Carter.

He predicts that teens will end up buying subscription based music services, a lot like the cable TV model.

Carter also feels that other tech platforms will actually save not kill TV networks.
The analog-to-digital conversion will allow teens to watch live TV on their smartphones.
This will then in turn help the TV networks to target their programming to specific audiences, which will maintain the cost of advertising.
What it boils down to is “the device is inconsequential compared to the content,” he said.

Subscribe to our Newsletter