TV high on youth agenda - MTV study

MUMBAI: Preferring to watch television while spending time at their favourite hangout - home - is high on the agenda of Indian youth, reveals a MTV study.

Findings of the study, released at the MTV Brand Equity Youth Marketing Forum on Thursday, indicate that while a good 37 per cent of youth prefer being at home than elsewhere as a place of 'hanging out', 38 per cent prefer to spend that time watching television. Good news indeed, for broadcasters, marketers et al.



Metropolises like Mumbai gave the biggest thumbs up to watching television as a means of spending time at home (55 per cent), while Baroda youth offered the lowest priority to the same activity. According to the study, an average Indian adult watches two hours of television every day.

The study, 'Tuning into Indian youth', was carried out by MTV in three phases. The first involved a quantitative study of a random sample of 2040 persons from the SEC ABC 15-34 demographic, culled from Delhi, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Lucknow and Vizag, done by IMRB.

The second phase was a qualitative assessment done by Explore Research based on study groups set up in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, while the third phase involved getting expert opinions on aspects like lifestyle, arts, music and fashion.

The results, that will ostensibly reflect in MTV's programming and marketing strategy for the year ahead is an eye-opener.

It turns several notions about metropolitan youth on its head with a finding that 53 per cent youth in Mumbai consider going out with their families as one of their 'coolest activities', as against their counterparts in smaller cities who strike a more independent stance. A whopping 62 per cent of youth in Chennai list neatly combed hair as the 'coolest thing to have'. Mumbai is the only city to list a medical profession as the 'coolest career choice', while business rates a higher priority in cities like Baroda and Chennai.

Being independent seems less of a priority in Mumbai than in Lucknow. 91 per cent of Lucknow youth expressed their preference for independence in life, while the corresponding figure for Mumbai was 42.

Premarital sex is more okay in Delhi than in other cities - 40 per cent in Delhi as against 29 per cent in Mumbai. Interestingly, music channels are a prominent source of information about music with 70 per cent of Delhiites listing these as their prime interface with music. As a natural fallout, veejays are seen as trendsetters by 69 per cent of youth in Mumbai. Delhi comes a close second in regarding channel veejays as trendsetting icons.

According to the study, conducted over the last six months, India is expected to have 462 million people in the consuming and rich classes by 2006-7 (the current figure is 281 million), with an additional 472 million as climbers. 70.5 per cent of the population will constitute the great Indian middle class.

With the demographic poised for a hefty growth in the next three years, it seems happy days ahead for all broadcasters, advertisers and marketers with a finger on the youth pulse.

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