Document Type

Journal Article


Department of Communication Studies


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of traditional media as well as the internet among young people in Hong Kong. With the fast development of the internet, the use of interpersonal as well as computer‐mediated communication has changed greatly. A study of how young people use traditional and new media is crucial as it enables commercial and social marketers to fully understand the role of mass mediated messages in the lives of youth. As the youth market expands and consumption power increases, marketers need to capture the latest trends in order to reach the young generation.

Design/methodology/approach – A survey of 405 Chinese persons aged 15 to 24 in Hong Kong was conducted in February 2006 using a self‐administered questionnaire. Undergraduate students distributed and collected these questionnaires through face‐to‐face interactions.

Findings – The study finds that the internet plays a prominent role among the young people in Hong Kong. A majority of respondents aged 15 to 24 spent one to three hours per day in the internet. The main reasons for internet usage were for listening to music and for fun. The internet was the preferred media choice for information‐driven activities. Magazines retained importance for entertainment and shopping activities while the television retained importance for news and current affairs. Most of the respondents found useful web sites through search engines. Interpersonal information sources gave way to the internet for obtaining information about sensitive issues.

Research limitations/implications – The sample was a convenience sample and this will limit its generalization.

Practical implications – The twenty‐first century is a digital age. Marketers should face this challenge. They should take an active role in building their online communication platforms. Social services marketers targeting young consumers should establish a strong presence in the internet.

Originality/value – This paper offers an updated map of the Hong Kong young people's media usage, especially the use of internet. It provides guidelines for marketers to reach them in a cost effective manner.

Publication Year


Journal Title

Young Consumers

Volume number


Issue number




First Page (page number)


Last Page (page number)






ISSN (print)


Link to Publisher’s Edition


Youth, User studies, Internet, Television, Magazines, Hong Kong

Included in

Communication Commons