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brianjosephking@gmail.comhttp://brianjking.comhttp://twitter.com/brianjkingChapters 1-3 COMMERCIAL MEDIA VIEWING HABITS: DIGITAL NATIVES VS. DIGITAL IMMIGRANTS 2008 - 2009Brian J. King

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COMMERCIAL MEDIA VIEWING HABITS: DIGITAL NATIVES VS. DIGITAL IMMIGRANTS

Brian J. King

A Thesis

Submitted to the Graduate College of Bowling Green State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTERS OF EDUCATION August 2009 Committee: Dr. Terry Herman, Advisor Dr. Paul Cesarini Dr. Gary Benjamin

ii

2008 - 2009 Brian J. King All Rights Reserved

iii ABSTRACT

Terry Herman, PhD, Advisor

Text of abstract

iv ENTER DEDICATION TEXT

v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Enter Acknowledgements text here.

vi TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................1Background and Context of the Problem.................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem........................................................................................................................3 Objectives of Study.................................................................................................................................4 Hypothesis...............................................................................................................................................4 Significance of Study..............................................................................................................................5 Assumptions............................................................................................................................................5 Limitations..............................................................................................................................................5 Definition of Terms.................................................................................................................................6

CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW........................................................................................9Introduction.............................................................................................................................................9 Technological Advancements and Impact to Commercials ....................................................................9 Digital Immigrants vs. Digital Natives and Television Commercial Viewing Habits............................12 Literature Review Conclusions..............................................................................................................15

CHAPTER III: METHOD.............................................................................................................17Restatement of Problem........................................................................................................................17 Research Design....................................................................................................................................17 Characteristics of Study Population.......................................................................................................18 Data Collection Instrument ...................................................................................................................18 Protection of Human Subjects...............................................................................................................18 Timeline................................................................................................................................................19 References.............................................................................................................................................20

viiBulik, B. (2009, April 13). What'll be the breakout star that links TV to Net? Retrieved April 22, 2009, from Advertising Age Web site: http://adage.com/article?article_id=135949 ......................................20

1 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION Background and Context of the Problem Rapid technological development and the immersion of technology into the lives of todays consumers have created a digital divide between generations. Frand states most students entering our colleges and universities today are younger than the microcomputer, are more comfortable working on a keyboard than writing in a spiral notebook, and are happier reading from a computer screen than from paper in hand (Frand, 2000, p. 15). According to Prensky, this gap is created by the rapid distribution and ubiquity of digital technologies in the last decades of the 20th century (2001a). It is important to note that these technologies such as cable television, the Internet, laptop computers, and mobile devices were not always readily available for previous generations. Due to these technological advancements being ever-present in our lives, one may assume differences exist between those whom have grown up immersed in the technologies and those whom have not been born into this technological immersion. In Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives, Prensky (2001a) notes people that are currently in kindergarten through traditional college age have been immersed their entire lives using computers, playing video games, using digital music players, video cameras, cell phones, and the Internet. Todays average college graduates have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, over 10,000 hours playing video games, and an incredible 20,000 hours viewing television within the first 20 years of their lives (Prensky, 2001a). These readily available technological advancements from a young age create different experiences, which lead to different brain structures than previous generations that did not have these technological advancements (Prensky, 2001a). Due to fundamental differences between generations as Prensky (2001a, 2001b) states

2 that those that are above 30 years old and not born into technological diffusion, a different classification for this group is necessary; after all Prensky mentions that non-digital natives do inherently process information differently then their parents and grandparents. In searching for a proper classification Prensky notes that some people refer to this generation as the net-gen or digital generation although Prensky classifies this generation as Digital Natives. Our students are all native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet (Prensky, 2001a, p. 1). Prensky classifies the remainder of the population as Digital Immigrants; those who were not born into the technology immersion but at some point may adopt some technologies into their lives. While Prensky discusses the topic of Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives as students, for the context of this study the researcher will refer to these groups as consumers; classified based on their age (under 30 and 30 years of age and over). These two different groups of consumers have various television commercial media viewing and use habits. The Digital Natives for instance have logged an incredible 20,000 hours of watching television within the first 20 years of their lives. How they are viewing television (either through the Internet or traditional television) as well as their viewing habits may be different then the Digital Immigrants. Advertisers producing commercials may find it advisable to address these groups and their unique media viewing habits. According to a 2008 United States based Mintel study, age influences respondents attitudes towards Internet advertising; respondents aged 18-24 are more likely than over-65s to strongly agree with the statement I use a pop-up blocker (Attitudes Towards Advertising and Media US April 2008). This finding from Mintel is important to advertisers trying to reach the Digital Natives whom appear to be more likely to circumvent viewing of a commercial through the use of a pop-up blocker if they are viewing their television on the Internet through a streaming service such as Hulu.com or

3 a desktop application such as Miro or Boxee. The same Mintel study found that age plays a role in how respondents consume media; mainly over-65s [sic] are more likely than 18-24s to watch 10 or more hours of network or cable television (Attitudes towards Advertising and Media, US, April 2008). Indicated by this data, Mintel found in a study conducted by Reuters in March 2008 that nearly half of Americans are turning to the Internet to get their news, and that those aged 18-29 get most of their information online compared to 35% of over 65s (Attitudes towards Advertising and Media, US, April 2008). The Internet is not the only force altering the media habits of Digital Immigrants or Digital Natives. Their viewing habits of commercials or perhaps avoidance habits of commercials through other technological advancements such as the DVR, changing the channel, or muting the television or computer also represent issues that advertisers should consider in adjusting their strategies to reach these markets. When it comes to skipping commercials, age has little influence on a respondents response; approximately 66% in each age group use a DVR for this purpose (Attitudes towards Advertising and Media, US, April 2008, Usage of DVR). Statement of the Problem The problem of this study is to analyze the difference in media and viewing habits of Digital Natives versus Digital Immigrants. The study will include an analysis of viewing habits for Digital Natives (under 30 years of age) and Digital Immigrants (those 30 years of age and older) and how they respond to commercial television. Many options exist to consumers when viewing television and commercials; this study aims to assess the options that consumers have in media viewing mediums (Internet vs. traditional television broadcast) and specifically their viewing habits of commercials.

4 Objectives of Study The objectives