Millennial Media Consumption

Posted on May 28th, 2018 by Steve Sherfy

Millennial Disruption – A Four Part Series

Part Three

Media consumption for Millennials is higher than previous generations and the most important aspect isn’t what media they are consuming, but how they are consuming media.  In 2016, Nielsen reported the smartphone has replaced the television as the most used device among Millennials, ushering in a new era of media platform shifting.

Decline of Traditional Media

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials spend 18 hours a day consuming media.  Seventy-two percent use free streaming video platforms such as YouTube, making it the number one viewing source.  YouTube reaches more 18-34 year olds than any cable network in the U.S.  Sixty percent use subscription video services such as Netflix and 50 percent of Millennials watch an online video at least once per day.

While traditional radio is still the top method overall for consuming music, it is not the number one source for Millennials who are turning to streaming over terrestrials.  According to Toluna, only 29 percent choose traditional radio first, spreading their preferences for consuming music across digital methods like iTunes and Spotify.

With Millennials, media consumption has evolved digitally and even terms like “watching TV” have a different meaning than with other generations.  According to a Nielsen study, there has been a 30 percent drop in the time Millennials consume traditional TV over the past six years, a trend that will undoubtedly continue.  This is a permanent disruptive shift; younger Millennials aren’t going to suddenly wake up one day and decide to watch more “live” television.

Key Takeaways

  1. TV is Dead, Long Live TV – Digital video platforms are key for reaching Millennials. YouTube is visited by 93 percent of Millennials and they are 112 percent more likely to share ads online than any other demographic.  A well-made, humorous ad placed on YouTube has the potential for a far-greater reach and impact than that same spot placed on traditional TV.
  2. TV Is Less Memorable – Millennials score lower than older generations when it comes to ad memorability. Nielsen’s recent Millennial Media Advisors Report notes that TV ads have an average memorability of 38 percent among Millennials, 10 percentage points lower than among Gen Xers 35 and over (48 percent).
  3. Search Has the Reach – The Media Insight Project conducted a study showing search engines are the most popular method Millennials use to research products and compare prices. Paid ads can effectively target Millennial searchers and, in verticals like financial institutions, searches are often conducted with local intent, which can be taken advantage of using hyper-local paid search campaigns.