WORK-LIFE BALANCE / OCT. 11, 2015
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October Millennial Data

Millenials have had very interesting 30 days as we found out that older millennials are more likely to pay for news than their younger cohorts. We’ve also learned that a lot of millennial couples will merge their finances before getting hitched. What’s deeply concerning, however, is that the average millennial will spend at least one hour per day on Facebook and they will often install ad-blocking apps on their web browsers. Even though you would have thought differently, a growing number of millennials are apprehensive of cutting the cord. 

See AlsoSeptember Millennial Data 

These are the five biggest headlines coming from the world of millennials in the past 30 days.

1. Millennials Paying for News

The general consensus is that consumers, particularly younger adults, don’t want to pay for the news. With so many options online, why should they be forced to dole out $10 per month? This is why most newspapers are hesitant in installing paywalls. But are millennials so resistant to the idea of paying for news? Not all. 

According to a poll by Media Insight Project, a partnership between the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 40 percent of adults aged 18 to 34 in the United States pay for a portion of the news they consume. This could include a digital news app, an email newsletter or, god forbid, a print newspaper. 

Interestingly, 13 percent of millennial respondents admit to not paying for the news themselves but relying on another person’s digital or print subscription. 

What should be pointed out is the fact that older millennials are more likely than younger millennials to personally pay for the news they view.  

"It’s the first digital generation, so there’s a tendency to lump them together and think this is how people who’ve grown up with this technology behave," said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute. "This generation is not a monolith." 

This is an important finding for both current business models and in the future: could newspapers profit now with paywalls, but suffer the consequences when Generation Z becomes the main consumer? 

Unfortunately, Americans in general are indifferent to paid news. It’s reported that daily paid circulation has reduced to 40.4 million, but the U.S. population has gone up by one-third. 

Online newspapers attempt to deliver the news for free by plastering websites with ads and embracing the newest form of native advertising. Newspaper print ad revenues has collapsed 63 percent since 2003. Daily paid newspaper circulation hit a peak in 1984.

2. Merging Finances Prior to Marriage

Back in the day, a couple would get married and then merge their finances. Today, that has all changed. Millennial couples are mixing their finances before saying the words "I do," which may never even happen in the first place (sorry guys and girls). 

A new survey by Credit Karma, half of millennials had either partially or completely merged their finances with their significant other before marriage. This is high compared to the one-third of Baby Boomers.  

Also, more than one-third of respondents reported to either depending on a joint credit card or having at least one joint credit card in addition to an individual card before getting married. 

Financial experts say combining finances before walking down the aisle is a matter of both circumstance and comfort level. Since a growing number of millennials are moving in together and living as common-law partners, they might as well merge their finances without a legal commitment. 

The number of older millennial men and women living with a partner has doubled in the last 20 years. Today, millennial couples aren’t just sharing keys to an apartment but also creating budgets together, maintaining a strict account of expenses and dividing financial responsibilities.

3. An Hour of Facebook a Day

Just how much time do you spend each month on your smartphone browsing Facebook and other social media mobile applications? If you’re the average millennial in the U.S. then you’re likely spending about 30 hours each month on social apps, including 26 of those on Facebook. 

Yikes! You better go get your eyes checked immediately if you’re spending that much time looking at a small screen! 

Ostensibly, Facebook’s mobile strategy appears to working, according to a new report released by comScore. The report found that millennials aged 18 to 34 spend an average of 26 hours per month on Facebook’s mobile app, which is close to an hour a day. Overall usage is number, and U.S. mobile users are spending more of their free time on mobile devices on social apps that pretty much anything else. 

On a monthly basis, the average mobile device user spends 26 hours a month on social media apps, which accounts for more than one-quarter (29 percent) of the total time spent on mobile apps. When looking at total social media consumption, it’s up four percent from a year ago. 

"With constantly refreshing social content and home screen accessibility for most users, the app is made for habitual usage,” the report said. This is why half of mobile users utilize Facebook more than any other app, and four-fifths of users place Facebook in their top three apps. 

These findings essentially confirm the description of millennials today: social media junkies.

4. The Millennial Consumer Hates Ads

Many of us get annoyed by the constant ads that interrupt our browsing experience and our consumption of YouTube videos. Despite this sometimes intrusive form of advertising, most Internet users do not have some sort of ad-blocking software. Well, except millennials. 

A new report finds that a whopping two-thirds of millennials have ad-blocking software. This is proving to be a headache for media publishers, content creators and digital advertisers. 

Using data from a second quarter survey by GlobalWebIndex, study authors noted that 34 percent of millennials aged 16 to 24 and 31 percent of millennials aged 25 to 35 block ads. The method of blocking ads was more prevalent in these two age groups than any of their older peers. 

Moreover, American Internet users are more likely to block ads than any other location. 

So what’s the best way for brands to reach this younger demographic? Respondents say free content, discounts, free trial offers and higher search engine rankings would be the most effective way to communicate with this audience and create brand engagement. 

But how can digital newspapers, blogs and YouTubers make money? Ad-blocking has been around for a while, but it has grown in popularity in the past two to three years. It’ll prove to be very difficult moving forward because millennial consumers want everything for free. We all have to soon realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

5. Is Cable TV Here to Stay?

With the advent of online streaming, Netflix and Hulu, the common trend found among millennials and younger Generation Xers has been to get rid of cable television. This is also known as cord-cutting. 

New data suggest that millennials aren’t so quick to grab a pair of scissors and cut the cord. In fact, millennials want both online videos and their cable television or satellite packages, something that is definitely costly. 

An Evercore ISI Group study of 866 millennial men and women found that more than half of four millennial age groups (13 to 17; 18 to 23; 24 to 29; and 30 to 35) were either unlikely or somewhat unlikely to replace their traditional pay TV for online video. Anywhere between five and 20 percent were very likely to cut the cord. 

This may be surprising considering that 65 percent of respondents aged 18 to 23 consume video on their computers and 42 percent of teens do the same. Older millennials, however, still mostly watch their favorite television shows or sporting events through their cable subscriptions. 

Mobile viewing is still pretty low, though it’s becoming more ubiquitous among the younger millennials: 25 percent of 13-to-17 year-olds compared to 10 percent of 30-to-35 year-olds.

Online video seems to be the most popular way to watch video among young millennials...However, as of now online video seems to be mostly complimentary to cable/satellite with only a small percentage of respondents saying they are likely to disconnect their traditional cable/satellite connection in favor of online video.” 

said Evercore ISI media analyst Vijay Jayant in an interview with Multi Channel News (MCN).

Akin to ad-blocking and paying for news, it seems younger millennials are the ones to take advantage of newer technology.

See AlsoAugust Millennial Data 

This past month shows a very complicated picture of millennials. Older millennials are more likely than younger millennials to pay for the news, while they are more focused on the combination of finances than getting married. It is proven once more that millennials are social media junkies; they are spending 30 hours a month on their phones browsing social media. Even though, online ads are being blocked by most U.S. millennials, they still don’t want to cut the cord just yet; they prefer to complement their cable subscriptions with online video streaming. 

What is your opinion of this data of millennials for October? Let us know your thoughts below…

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