It’s always jarring to see stats about how much time we all spend in front of screens. Hopefully a lot of this time is spent consuming, or perhaps creating, great content. In fact, Nielsen’s Q1 2016 Total Audience Report indicates U.S. adults spent 10 hours and 39 minutes each day consuming media, and Millennial content consumption can be up to 18 hours per day. Yet it’s important to recognize that Nielsen also shows that the top 20% of users account for 87% of PC streaming, 83% of smartphone video consumption, 76% of PC internet usage, and 71% of the time spent on TV-connected devices. Some of these “super-users” are certainly Millennials, but definitely not all considering there are 82 million Millennials with a spending power of $1.4 trillion by 2020.

Just as each generation can be subdivided into personas, Millennials have been grouped into six segments by “The Millennial Consumer” report. These distinctions can be helpful when considering user journeys, language choice, and other Millennial content decisions, and were defined as:

  • Hip Millennial (29%)
  • Millennial Parent (22%)
  • Anti-Millennial (16%)
  • Gadget Guru (13%)
  • Clean and Green (10%)
  • Old-School (10%)

Millennial segments

“It’s also a good idea to avoid targeting the ‘Millennial’ audience as a general niche. Instead, narrow your engagement by targeting highly specific niche audiences, and interacting with your users on an individual level whenever possible.” — Forbes

Fractl and BuzzStream narrow down Millennial content consumption through the hours they spend engaged with online content per week, revealing:

  • 20% spend 20+ hours
  • 12% spend 15-20 hours
  • 16% spend 10-15 hours
  • 23% spend 5-10 hours
  • 18% spend at least 5 hours
  • 8% spend 0-5 hours

Hours Millennials Spend Online

They appreciate thought leadership and expertise, so this is your company’s chance to provide killer content that ranks highly in Google and show young consumers that you’re the industry buff – especially since Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts (who happen to be strangers), and they are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites. – HubSpot

Millennial thought leadership

In fact, Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) spend the most time engaging with online content. But that’s for another fact sheet. This time is often split between two screens, since Consumer Technology Association found that 88% of Millennials regularly engage in second screen behaviors when watching video content. Of the time Millennials spend online, Facebook accounts for about an hour — mostly through their app. Yet the highest concentration of Millennials comprise the following app communities:

  1. 98% of Yik Yak
  2. 94% of Venmo
  3. 88% of Instasize
  4. 81% of BuzzFeed
  5. 79% of Tinder

App communities with highest concentration of millennials

While the rise of crowdculture diminishes the impact of branded content and sponsorships, it has greased the wheels for an alternative approach that I call cultural branding…doing research to identify ideologies that are relevant to the category and gaining traction in crowdcultures. – Harvard Business Review

And when is this Millennial content consumption occurring during a 24-hour cycle? The two most popular slots are late morning and late evening, with 35% of Millennials online between 8 p.m. and midnight and 17% reachable from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Yet again, these “most popular” times statistics must be analyzed further since the same Millennials might be online during both time slots. In addition, 36% of Millennials admit to going online “almost constantly” — meaning many can be reached throughout the day — with Generation Xers (30-49) right behind them with 28% saying they, too, go online “almost constantly” according to Pew Research Center.

Keep in mind that 57% of millennials block ad content because it is too pushy. We’re doing a lot of self-education and prefer it that way. We’re used to on-demand info. We’re skeptical, critical thinkers. We’re into transparency, and we want personalized experiences. – Alex Rynne, Linkedin Associate Content Marketing Manager

Millennials block ads

As for the preferred way Millennials want to consume their news, 65% rely on TV, 59% the internet, 24% the newspaper, and 18% the radio. If they’re doing B2B research, MarketingProfs shares that 25% turn to search engines, 20% to a vendor’s website, and 17% to peers or colleagues. Social media, salesperson, and industry publications came in fourth with about 11% each. The study goes on to share that their preferred format for B2B content is, in order: video, case study, white paper, brochure, webinar, and infographic.

However, Millennial Marketing reveals that the top Millennial websites overall are Youtube, Spotify, BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, and Amazon. The leading social networks among Millennials are Facebook — which is reaching almost 100% of Millennials in the U.S. — with Instagram coming in at 63%, Twitter at 55%, and Linkedin at 54%.

Focus on providing a personal experience that resonates with your target market. A Millennial’s brand affinity lies in engagement – 62% of Millennials say they are likely to remain loyal customers through consistent engagement with a brand. – Social Media Today


As for post-consumption Millennial behavior, Chris Ertel of Kaleidoscope shares that “Millennials are three times more likely to talk about a brand over social media than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers. They are 10 times more likely to blog about products they like and twice as likely than older consumers to post peer reviews on products.” Ertel adds that their tech savviness and sharing tendencies cause them to be influencers to older generations who look to them for product and service advice as well as a model for what their consumption behavior should be.

As the Millennial generation begins to move into the executive space, they will be looking more at a trusted colleague to find what they need, not merely more video, interactive tools, or “cool” social experiences. Personal touchpoints are key, but business content still must provide real insight and inspiration versus blatant product marketing. That point will never change. — Heather Taylor, The Economist’s Director of Content Strategy

The Author

Content Science is a growing content strategy and intelligence company and the publisher of Content Science Review. We empower digital enterprises for the content era by taking their content approach to the next level. Customers of our professional services and one-of-a-kind products (such as ContentWRX and Content Science Academy) include the Fortune 50, the world’s largest nonprofits, and the most trusted government agencies.

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