Chart from Label Networks’ China Youth Culture Study 2009

As technology and internet patterns continue to have a great effect on future markets, we expanded the amount of questions targeting internet patterns, blogs, social networking, new media, online gaming, and communication patterns in this year’s China Youth Culture Study 2009. One of the most revealing and interesting aspects of the results within this large section of our overall Study were the results by age groups of how young people in China, ages 15-25-years-old, now find out about new websites.

In 2007, our China Study revealed that most young people found out about new websites via Search Engines, which ranked the highest as the main source in all of our Global Youth Culture Studies including Japan, North America, and Western Europe. Today, when asked “How do you typically find out about new websites?” Search Engines rank #1 at 39.4% however Web Links have greatly increased to 29.1%, followed by Banner Ads at 11.1%, Friends/Family at 5.5%, Blogs at 4.5%, and Magazine Ads at 4%. What’s also interesting is that Personal Profile Pages on MySpace or other social networks are also on the radar. What’s important about such results are that they ndicate a shift in where young people are going online to discover news, brands, share ideas, shopping, and communication patterns and moving outside of just Search Engines, which is often thought of as being the main source of information for new sites. Web Links are also quite popular in our North American Youth Culture Studies as more people look to what’s recommended from others or from stories, blogs, and profile pages as their main source for new site information. This means, therefore, for brands looking to reach youth culture in China, there are a variety of other, more targeted options, which also opens up opportunities for greater reach via smaller brands such as through company blogs or social networks.

By gender, the most significant differences are that Banner Ads are more effective among males as a source for new websites whereas Magazine Ads are much higher among females. However what’s most telling within the results to this question come by looking at the results by age groups. Clearly, Search Engines as a main source are considered a trait of an older person, peaking among 21-25-year-olds at 44.7% of this age group, whereas Web Links, Blogs, and Personal Profile Pages peak among younger demographics. Interestingly Blogs are highest among 18-20-year-olds which, as indicated in the results about blogging in the China Youth Culture Study 2009, show a new strength and source of communication among young people in China today.

As social networks, online gaming, blogs, and new media in general continue to grow and become a main source of news, communication, and influence in shopping patterns, knowing where young people are turning to for new website information is vital for brands looking into the future. Not only for those seeking new markets via youth culture in China, but also the direction of trends from the enormous influence this large demographic has in many parts of Asia.

Label Networks’ China Youth Culture Study 2009 covers Internet, Fashion, Music, Sports, Spending Patterns, Retail, Entertainment, Video Gaming, and more. For subscription information email; (323) 630-4000. The China Youth Culture Study 2009 is free for 2009 Premium Global Subscribers.