Targeting the Millennials generation is the next big opportunity for media companies. As targeting audiences becomes more ubiquitous across digital media channels, media companies are identifying targeting strategies in order to build audiences now and for the future. One such target is the largest and most economically powerful generational group: the Millennials. In 2015, Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y or echo boomers, are ages 20 to 36.
The most powerful ways to reach Millennials are through social media, and through digital media with strong social media components. However, it is imperative that publishers speak to the millennial audience in a profoundly different way than older generational groups.
Millennials have a much different view on the credibility of news coverage compared to older generations. According to a 2013 study by Telefonica and the Financial Times, Millennials are three or four times more likely to identify the Internet and social media news sources as more credible than printed newspapers and magazines, depending on the region of the world where they live. Further, Millennials were two or three times more likely to identify Internet and social media news sources as more credible than television news sources, according to the study.
Millennials’ media consumption patterns have been studied as early as 2006, when Pew researchers Lee Rainie and John Horrigan published “When Facing Tough Decision, 60 Million Americans Now Seek the Internet’s Help: The Internet’s Growing Role in Life’s Major Moments.”
“Compared to their elders, they are more likely to turn to digital media first when researching a topic for school or personal use, to read news on the Internet than in a printed newspaper; and to use online social network tools to meet friends and to find information. In other words, the primary sources of information in their world are often (although not exclusively) digital, which is quite different from any generation prior,” the research explains.
The early Pew research suggests the digital native mindset of Millennials has had a deep impact on perceptions of news credibility. “As the first generation to grow up with interactive digital media, Millennials are comfortable with collaborating and sharing information, and do so “in ways that allow them to act quickly and without top-down direction.”
World Newsmedia Network has published Global Digital Media Trendbook each year since 2006. The 2014 trendbook contains 500 data sets and 230 pages of analysis about digital media usage and revenue patterns, including this data set. To download the GDMT free executive summary, go to www.wnmn.org