How Millennials Consume TV

It’s a given that Millennials have their own culture when it comes to media, with very different preferences, devices, and programming choices than other age groups. They have a totally different style of watching shows, using a far higher amount of internet-based and mobile viewing options than older demographics. While Boomers watch TV and listen to the radio for the news, and stick to cable and local channels on their television for watching their programs, Millennials get their news online more than on TV or radio, use apps for the weather, go online for many of their shows, and spend much less time listening to the radio. The list of differences goes on and on, and it can feel like a scramble for many businesses to keep up!

Even when you think you have this whole Millennial thing down, not all Millennials fit into the same categories, which means your ad strategy may not be as effective as you thought! The differences someone born in ’81 and someone born in ’96 are significant, ranging in life stage from higher education to young professionals to established families in their prime earning years. We’re going to explore the 3 main Millennial categories, their media use habits, and how to reach them in a meaningful way so that you stay on the leading edge of being relevant and approachable. After all, it’s not just what you say- it’s where you say it too!

When you are considering TV advertising to Millennials, there is an important question to start off with, which will determine the tone and placement of all your ads: What age and stage of life are they in? Let’s take a look at the 3 main Millennial milestones:

  1. Dependent Millennials (such as living at home with parents)
  2. Living On Their Own
  3. Starting a family

Dependent Millennials

Millennials in this category seem to have pretty specific patterns in their natural habitat. According to Nielsen, the power player in advertising metrics, about 97% of 18-year olds live in someone else’s home, usually with a parent or parents. This group is likely to be using a family cable plan, going with whatever streaming services their families have chosen for themselves. They’re also less likely to be financial decision-makers or be owners of multiple media devices. However, they tend to have the largest ownership of PC’s of all three groups. Interestingly though, they have the lowest usage. Maybe mom and dad are making sure they make time to get more fresh air.

Living on Their Own

This group has a completely different lifestyle than Dependent Millennials. About 90% of people around 34 live on their own, or with a partner. Instead of sharing their family’s plan, this group often purchases multiple subscriptions to online video-on-demand programs, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, about 78% of this group have subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) services, which is 14% higher than Dependent Adults, and a whopping 20% higher than the Millennials who are starting their families.

In addition, Living On Their Own Millennials are also more likely to invest in multimedia devices, broadband internet, laptops, and mobile/wearable tech. Overall, the Living On Their Own Millennials spent more than 94 hours using these devices in November 2015, which is about 10 more hours a month than ALL other 18-34-year-olds, and about 18 more than the Dependent Millennials in particular. To reach them efficiently, you need an experienced media agency such as ours, who are fluent in the styles and language used for each group when advertising on these devices.

Starting a Family

This demographic has a very different set of schedules and priorities than the other two groups. They’re more likely to own DVRs, DVD players, and tablets, some for themselves and some for their children. The tablets in particular may be due to having children in the home, both for the parents’ mobility and the children’s ease of use. They may also have a lot less time for watching television, since they are usually working, raising a family (with all those sleepless nights and many learning curves!) and trying to keep the house together all at once. Even though they tend to own more of these devices, the Living On Their Own group tends to spend more time on them than they do, since they tend to have more free time.

We Know Our (Millennial) Stuff!

When it comes to reaching this demographic, you need an agency that understands each of these stages, knows how to identify YOUR ideal Millennial, and also knows how to get their attention in an arena that their specific group frequents. At Blue Onion Media, we specialize in customizing your ad strategies to ensure a clear, visible and engaging message, living in just the right places for your target market Millennials to discover them. We can quantitatively analyze the right segment for your business or organization in order to maximize your media ROI. Contact us today to learn more about how to capture the attention of the right group of Millennials. Your business – and bank account – will thank you later! (303) 597-9661