Young Australians have Appetites for Distraction according to Sound Alliance

Earlier this week, we had the privilege of attending Sound Alliance’s presentation, in which they shared their research on the youth of Australian. Aptly named, Appetite for Destruction Distraction, the 2013 research study investigated 14,000 Australians between 16-30, touching on their addiction to technology and content and their thoughts towards brands and media.

The findings aren’t unexpected, uncovering a young audience that is more glued to mobile and social media more than ever. But on the flipside? We’ve also got a youth demographic that care about change, value experiences over possessions and are relatively optimistic about their future.

We found some of the insights quite interesting that we couldn’t help but share.

Meet today’s young Australian:

  • They suffer from FOMO and FONK (Fear of Missing Out and Fear of not Knowing)
  • They live in a time of an’ infobesity epidemic’– an era of constant noise, churnalistic journalism and so much snackable content that they’re oversnacking
  • They are generally happy (73%) and confident (62%) about themselves
  • Although most worried about themselves first and foremost, they are also the most optimistic about themselves too (62% believe their future will get better)
  • But they aren’t so optimistic about the world (32% stated they weren’t optimistic about the future of the world
  • They care about their health and well-being but think it will be just fine in the future (62%)
  • And while they also worried about the environment, in contrast to their health they don’t think it would improve (65%)
  • Despite all the worries about data privacy in the media, young Australians don’t seem to phased about this at the moment (39%) but most think the situation won’t improve (48%)
  • So with all the concerns and worries in the world, they know that things need to change!

But who do they think will change it?

GIRLS that’s who! The research found that girls were more likely to be influencers of change.

Aside from their concerns, what is the one thing that the youth of today value and desire?

  • It’s not their latest gadget, it’s experiences. They want a youth well lived for as long as it takes.
  • 93% value experience over possessions. Is it an end to conspicuous consumption? No but perhaps an interpretation of it. Young people are drawing status from sharing the things they’ve done not the things they own.

And social media?

  • Facebook still prevails at number one in terms of platforms (97% usage by local youth), but other social media platforms are getting a look in to
  • Instagram is rising, with 30% using it more than a year ago
  • Email still matters (1% don’t use it compared to 3% of non Facebook users)
  • What about the platforms that still haven’t taken off? Vine and Pinterest (with 77% and 71% of non users of Vine and Pinterest respectively). Although, this doesn’t take into account industry anomalies such as beauty that are huge users of Pinterest!
  • Despite their heavy usage of social, 35% of youth today don’t think it’s such a good thing, but with any addiction no one is planning to wean themselves off it any time soon

What’s the lifeblood of today’s youth?

  • Mobile! Their most prized possession is mobile and Apple is their most valuable brand
  • Most youth now suffer from ‘lazy thumb syndrome’ and brands need to consider how they can  engage this lazy thumb of theirs

Why do they consider Apple the most valuable brand?

The one thing that matter the most from youth is quality. And it doesn’t necessarily refer to product. Youth care about the image, marketing, advertising, experience a brand offers. And it all needs to be top notch.

What don’t they care about?

History and heritage. So move over grandpa, the youth can’t remember far back enough how long you have been around for, so stop talking about the good old days.


Find out more about Sound Alliance who ran the research here.