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Generation Z: The Connected Multi-Tasker

Knowledge Networks/SRI: How Children Use Media Technology 2003

The Connected Multi-Tasker

Generation Z (yes Z, not Y) will be the most connected generation that has ever walked this planet. With usage of electronic media devices rising rapidly along with the simultaneous use of those devices, advertisers will need to dramatically shift the strategies they use to communicate with this generation.

A recent study from Knowledge Networks/SRI entitled, "How Children Use Media Technology" reveals 61 percent of children 8-17 have televisions in their rooms, 35 percent have video games and 14 percent have a DVD player. Seventy-five percent of those who have a television in their room report multitasking with other media. With the rise of broadband and wireless access, these numbers are destined to move upward.

To accommodate this multitasking trend, the creation of entirely new devices by electronics manufacturers is in its infancy but growing fast. Companies like Nokia are releasing phones that are also cameras, video recorders, MP3 players, FM radios, gaming stations, IM stations and web browsers all rolled into one device. Media will cease to be time and place based with content delivery control shifting from provider to user.

Old media that do not adapt will die a long, slow and painful death. Refusal among network executives to acknowledge TiVo-like time shifting technologies and those who do not adopt some form of brand integration will also be left on the sidelines. The Internet revolution was nothing. The Gen Z media revolution will shake the industry as well as culture to its core.

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