This past month, we got an even greater look at the behaviors, habits and wants of the millennial generation, a demographic known to be in debt, tech-savvy and nest squatters. From cutting the television cord to supporting marijuana legalization, the information is fascinating.
1. Cord-Cutting Trend Continues
American cable companies are already beginning to adapt to the ever-changing content consumption landscape, something that has been pushed forward by the millennials, a group that wants to watch their favorite shows online and on the go.
Nielsen figures released last month suggested that millennials cutting the cord is transpiring at a record rate. According to the data, conventional television usage declined 10.6 percent between September and January among the 18-34 demographic. Since 2012, television viewing has fallen an average of four percent per year.
This past season’s immense decline means that there are 20 percent fewer young adults watching programs at prime time than four years ago - 21.7 million versus 17.8 million. This is bad news for sponsors, cable companies, advertisers and the TV industry, especially considering that the median age of television viewers is 50.
"The change in behavior is stunning. The use of streaming and smartphones just year-on-year is double-digit increases,” Alan Wurtzel, NBCUniversal’s audience research chief, told the New York Post. “I’ve never seen that kind of change in behavior.”
2. U.S. Millennials’ Skills Falling Behind
As we reported last month, a new study conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) found that U.S. millennials have the highest level of educational attainment than any other generation before them. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that millennials can demonstrate advanced literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills when compared to the rest of the world.
The ETS report discovered that millennials with various educational credentials scored lower than most other nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and descended to the bottom in numeracy and PS-TRE. Moreover, the younger half of the millennial generation fared the worst in this global test.
3. Content = Brand Loyalty
Content marketing may never be more important than it is today, says a report.
Research findings released by Newscred (via BizReport) note that millennials will be loyal to specific brands based on the content they generate. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) say the right online content does, in fact, boost their brand loyalty, but a significant number say the current content being churned out isn’t passing the grade.
Close to one-third (32 percent) argue the type of content being delivered to them is too long, salesy and lacks the personalized touch, such as their cultural interests. At the same time, only 12 percent purported their abhorrence for marketing, which means millennials can marketed to based on astute, helpful, comical and customized content.
4. Millennials Want Convenience Stores
Despite the plethora of statistics and articles highlighting the fact that millennials are dismissing the likes of Burger King and McDonald’s in favor of healthier and more expensive food options, a report suggests that millennials are opting for convenience stores.
NPD Group data shared with the USA Today shows that convenience stores are more important to millennials than fast-food restaurants. For the past decade, convenience store usage among the 18-34 demographic has grown from 7.7 percent to just under 12 percent.
"Millennials are cheap — they’re no different from anyone else," said Harry Balzer, chief food industry analyst at NPD Group. "What we mostly do in our lives is get food as fuel — we don’t usually go out for exciting eating adventures. They’ve discovered that you can eat out at the convenience store."
5. Republican Millennials Endorse Marijuana
Not all Republicans are sporting sweater vests, reading the works of economist Ludwig von Mises and writing blog posts criticizing the Democratic Party.
According to a new Pew Research Center study, most millennial GOP voters are in favor of making marijuana legal. The survey reported that six in 10 young Republicans support legalizing marijuana, while 46 percent of older-age GOPers share the same sentiment.
Similar to the growing support among younger Republicans regarding same-sex marriage, this suggests that the modern Republican Party (Rand Paul) could become more inclusive than in previous caucuses (John McCain).