Teens prefer Crazy Frog to CDs, research shows
The chart-topping Crazy Frog ringtone that has half the country hopping mad is evidence of a big shift in teenagers' spending patterns, say sociologists at Birmingham University.
As Jamstar's Crazy Frog Axel F leapt above Coldplay to number one in the UK's singles chart last weekend, the research shows that teenagers spend more money on ringtones, mobile phones and computer games than on music.
In a pilot study of how 220 15 to 16-year-olds consume music and other leisure items, Peter Webb of the university's sociology department found that music remains important to teenagers, but they prefer to download it for free.
Dr Webb said: "The success of the Crazy Frog shows the popularity of ringtones among teens and is a clear example of how different markets compete for youngsters' time and money.
"This is the situation the music industry has to contend with in a climate of decreasing sales - significant free downloading practices and many demands on time and resources of consumers."
Preliminary research reveals that most teenagers buy CDs monthly. Most respondents said that music was important, but only 41 per cent spend money on it. Of the 63 per cent who download music, none had ever paid for it. In contrast, 78 per cent reported spending money on clothes, 67 per cent on going out, 59 per cent on mobile phones and 48 per cent on computer games.
"This age group still values music, but they buy music on a less-than-regular basis," Dr Webb said. "Two thirds (of teens) download music from a variety of file-sharing services but other consumption areas are taking up their time and money."