Survey shows 56 percent of teens who own portable digital audio players own Apple iPods

Piper Jaffray & Co. Senior Retail Analyst Jeff Klinefelter and a collaborative team of other senior research analysts recently released the results of the ninth bi-annual proprietary research survey on teen spending habits and retail brand perception, titled “Taking Stock With Teens.” Klinefelter and team conducted mall research field trips with approximately 600 teens from 11 high schools in eight states across the country and one province of Canada. Additionally, the team surveyed another 1,400 students in 47 states and Canada through an online survey. Overall, the survey shows that total fashion spending remained flat year-over-year.

“Our ‘discretionary spending recovery’ thesis remains intact as our new supplemental online survey points to significantly higher spending on fashion products for an average household income of $72,000 sample, versus $44,000 sample,” said Klinefelter in the press release. “Additionally, current spending trends on fashion-related products remains on par with strong performance during Spring 2004, however frequency characteristics point to acceleration as we move through 2005.”

Klinefelter and team surveyed teens on their favorite places to shop as well as their spending habits. Based on their responses, Hollister, a concept of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF, Outperform, $58.79) took the top spot as the most frequent overall destination capturing 12 percent of mind share votes, followed by Abercrombie & Fitch with 10 percent mind share after leading the ranking for seven surveys in a row. In third place is Pacific Sunwear of California (PSUN, Outperform, $26.74), followed by American Eagle (AEOS, Outperform, $29.77) in fourth place and d.e.m.o, a concept of Pacific Sunwear, in fifth.

“Overall, mind share in terms of preferred brands seems to be coalescing at the top, continuing a trends we first saw in the fall 2004 survey,” said Klinefelter in the press release. “This spring, the top three choices garnered 32 percent of the votes, compared to 33 percent in the fall 2004 survey and 25 percent last spring.”

The students were also surveyed on video game products and other consumer electronics. Results of the survey point out that video games remain a leading form of entertainment with 76 percent of student households having at least one video game platform and 49 percent of students stating that they are occasional game players (playing at least monthly). In addition, 51 percent of student households own Sony’s PS2, 32 percent own Microsoft’s Xbox, 18 percent own Nintendo’s GameCube and 34 percent own a GameBoy System (38 percent own two consoles).

In addition to video game products, the students were surveyed about portable digital audio players. The survey results show an accelerating interest among teens for digital audio players. Of the students surveyed, 41 percent indicated that they own a portable digital audio player and those expecting to purchase one went from 46 percent in fall 2004 to 59 percent in the spring 2005 survey. Apple’s (AAPL, Outperform, $43.56) iPod ownership among high school students has risen materially. In the fall 2004 survey, 40 percent owned an iPod, while in this spring’s survey, 56 percent own an iPod.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple’s iPod and iTunes show big leads in teen marketshare – April 06, 2005

[UPDATE: 10:58pm – rewrote headline]


  1. Teens are great, but sometimes they learn from their elders. My 73 year old mom has two iPods and because she loves them so much, has convinced the youngins’ of the family of their coolness. There’s a stable of iPods in the ranks now.

    I wonder how all the teens will be buying in the future. Seems like Apple has captured a long-term buying customer base.

  2. Isn’t the very basis of this survey flawed since they did their survey at malls? Obviously, spending will be higer among those who are ALREADY at the mall. Plus, aren’t they going to list as their favorite retailers those who have a presence IN the mall where the survey is done? Also, what kind of teens do you get to fill out a Piper Jaffray survey online?

    Hey, maybe I’ll go down to the local Chevy dealer and take a survey to see what brand of vehicle people are buying the most of these days.

  3. Apparently, a lesson is required. Of the surveyed teens, 41% own a digital music player. Of those, 56% own an iPod. That means that ~23% of the surveyed teens own an iPod.

  4. Median annual household income in the US is $43,318; Canadian income is roughly the same. So yes, among households with a annual income of $72,000 or more (and there aren’t many, to be sure), 56% of teenagers have an iPod.

    56% of all teenagers in North America…no way.

  5. I think MDN should change their headline, it’s outright WRONG!

    As others have pointed out, 56% of teenagers who own digital audio players own an iPod. Only 41% of all teenagers surveyed own a digital audio player, so that’s 56% of 41% which is 23% of ALL teenagers.

    Still not a bad number, almost a quarter of US and Canadian teenagers who frequent malls or have access to the internet have an Apple iPod. That’s pretty huge, but far from 56%.

  6. One more thing:

    Last time I checked, Mexico was part of North America. If the survey didn’t include Mexican teens, then you can hardly extrapolate US/Canada figures as being representative of “North American teens”

    MDN screwed the pooch big time on this story.

  7. Let’s see. According to
    there are some 13,989,239 high school students in the U.S. Does anyone seriously believe that of the 10 million iPods sold worldwide that 7,833,974 of them were sold to to U.S. high school students? Plus additional millions sold to college freshman and sophmores? Plus Canadian teenagers? That would mean that something like 80-90% of worldwide iPod users were U.S. and Canadian teens. Get real! I see more iPods on the subway than my kids do in their high school.

    Magic word: lot. As in, this is a lot of nonsense!

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