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Study: U.S. teens love Apple, Instagram, Beats by Dre and Netflix

study u s teens love apple instagram beats dre netflix holiday teenager

Detailed within the latest ‘Taking Stock With Teens” study conducted by Piper Jaffray every six months, U.S. teenagers have some very specific preferences on consumer electronics, social networks and streaming video services. For instance, over 60 percent of U.S. teenagers own an Apple iPhone, up from 55 percent last year. In addition, more than 65 percent own an Apple iPad and approximately 65 percent of non-tablet owners plan to purchase an iPad in the future. Even more telling, nearly one out of five of U.S. teens would pay up to $350 for a smartwatch created by Apple.

When it comes to headphones preferences, the Beats by Dre brand dominated in the study with approximately 46 percent of teens indicating that their next headphones purchase will be that brand. Apple followed behind Beats by Dre at approximately 25 percent and Skullcandy’s shrinking market share fell under 10 percent this year. Other brands such as Sony, Bose and JVC barely registered with teens this year.


Regarding social networks, Instagram continues to rise in popularity with about 30 percent of U.S. teens calling it the most important social network. Alternatively, the attention given to Facebook has fallen considerably over the last 18 months. While Facebook was named the most important social network during Spring 2013 at about 33 percent share, it’s plummeted to just 23 percent as of this year. Twitter also fell by a few percentage points, but is still considered more important than Facebook in the eyes of U.S. teens. Social networks like Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest all registered low on the interest scale though.

Shifting to entertainment, the number of of U.S. teens that rent movies from retail locations has fallen considerably in the past two years while the number of people renting films over streaming video services has risen. Services like DVD-by-mail or kiosk rentals have remained flat. Over the next five years, teens are projecting that Netflix’s streaming subscription service and Redbox’s kiosk service will be the dominate players in the movie rental space.


When it comes to video games, more than 20 percent of U.S. teenagers own either the Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One or the Nintendo Wii U. In addition, 55 percent of U.S. teens that don’t own one of the newest consoles want to purchase one this year. Regarding software, nearly two out of three U.S. teens purchase used games and their primary store of choice is GameStop. In addition, 57 percent of teenagers that trade in games choose GameStop over any other option. Alternatively, Walmart is a distance second place with just 12 percent trading in old games at the retailer. 

Finally, U.S. teens are becoming less dependent on premium television services like cable or satellite television. While more than 60 percent called cable television a “necessity,” the percentage of teens that stream television content on services like Hulu and Amazon increased by 20 percent over the last two years. In addition, more of those teens are opting to watch that television content on their mobile device over the HDTV in the living room. Streaming radio services like Spotify and Pandora are seeing similar growth numbers while the number of physical compact discs and digital music file purchases are falling among teens.

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