From the Sydney Morning Herald comes this look at Generation Y:
Cashed-up and brand-conscious, the net generation spend money on DVDs, mobile phones and iPods, and advertisers are bending over backwards to woo them.
Also known as Generation Y and born between 1979 and 1994, these technology-savvy youngsters wield considerable influence over a number of industries, according to business information analysts IBISWorld.
Advertisers and hi-tech manufacturers are desperate to win them over, but it is not an easy task.
IBISWorld's general manager (Australia) Jason Baker said the next 10 years belonged to the net generation, with their spending habits heavily influencing marketing budgets.
Net-genners spend money on DVDs, mobile phones, iPods, video games and all manner of hi-tech entertainment, but that's not all, Baker said.
"Raised in dual-income and single-parent families, this generation have already had considerable financial responsibility and they're heavily involved in family purchases, not just in the outlay of their own pocket money," he said.
"They have a say in where the family holidays, what car they buy, furniture - you name it."
Net-genners, of which there are 3.3 million in Australia, are becoming increasingly cynical of advertising, Mr Baker said.
Marketers are going to have to get clever to attract their attention, he said, predicting the rise of the use of street teams.
"Street teams - groups of young people who hang out talking to teens in a bid to pinpoint emerging trends, or talking up products without being obviously linked to them - are huge in the US, and we're already following suit," he said.
IBISWorld said the net generation's obsession with DVDs had fuelled growth in this market.
Due primarily to this technology-savvy generation, DVD players have experienced the fastest take-up of any technology ever introduced to the Australian market, outpacing CDs, microwaves and even television.
But the demand for all things online is expected to eventually bring the market down.
"By 2007, DVDs will be superseded by the online delivery of movies and entertainment," Baker said.
Young people are big users of mobile phones and that industry in Australia is now worth more than $A10 billion a year, IBISWorld said.
IBISWorld expects this figure will rise to more than $A13 billion by 2009.
The net generation is likely to contribute significantly to the industry's future revenue growth through new data and information services, rather than traditional voice services, it said.
Meanwhile, music industry revenue in Australia has grown at around 6.8 per cent per annum since 2000, showing teenagers are still spending their disposable income in record stores, but Baker predicts leaner times in coming years.
"As new media continue to gain prominence, the industry will face a more significant struggle for survival," he said.
"For instance, there are competing online music standards between Microsoft's Windows Media Player and Apple's iPod, as well as the current struggle between a range of industry players to establish a new standard DVD format."