Internet ‘fails to attract’ youngsters

Less than one per cent of five to 19-year-olds are using the Internet, according to new research which shows that use of on-line interactive media is well below expectations.

However, off-line interactive media – notably CD-Rom and PC-based applications – are heavily used by this age group and now account for 20 per cent of all software sold.

The findings are part of an annual survey of new media consumption commissioned by interactive media specialist Microtime Media.

Microtime managing director Daniel Bobroff warns against believing the hype about the spread and use of the Internet, although he maintains that it has potential for consumers and marketers.”While the Internet may be an effective route for certain advertisers, it is still the off-line applications such as consoles, cartridges and CD-Rom which have the biggest reach and offer the widest opportunities,” he says.

But he adds: “Assets developed offline can and will increasingly be used on-line as technology allows the gap between the two to narrow.”

The Microtime Audience Research System Survey, conducted by Carrick James Market Research, shows that 99 per cent of five to 19-year-olds use leisure software for entertainment.

However, information and educational use is growing fast – one-third now use it for this purpose – which offers marketers a lucrative new opportunity to target younger consumers.

Seventy five per cent of the 8 million children and teenagers regularly using interactive media for entertainment do so with other people, the MARS survey also reveals.

Fifty five per cent spend at least an hour a day playing their chosen title.