Internet takes Canadian teens away from TV

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TORONTO--Roughly 87% of Canadian teens regularly spend time online, often at the expense of TV watching, according to a new survey.

Research company Youth Culture Inc. of Toronto surveyed 1,000 teenagers aged 12 to 17 and found that 34% of them were spending less time watching TV since going online. Total time spent on the Internet was an average of 9.3 hours a week, roughly equivalent to TV viewing.

"The teen generation is the first generation to grow up with the Internet all around them," says Youth Culture President Doug Stewart.

Canadian teens surveyed have embraced the Internet for e-mail, chat, homework research, games and music.

Other figures compiled from telephone interviews with the teens and 450 parents reveal 85% of teens feel the Internet helps them learn and 33% want more Internet time at school.

Mr. Stewart suggests the survey is "a wake-up call" for marketers that pour money into TV to reach the younger set.

Canadian marketers will spend an estimated $2 billion on TV advertising this year, while Internet advertising is pegged at $75 million, according to Advertising Age International and the Internet Advertising Bureau of Canada, respectively.

"There's a real disconnect there," Mr. Stewart says of the significant spread between TV and Internet advertising. "There's going to really be a shake-out."

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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