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Shifting Media Habits for Millennials: Video Remains Important

March 31, 2016 By Molly White in

New market research from Nielsen sheds light on media habits for Millennials, which change as they age. Dividing the young adult lives of Millennials (18-34 years old) into three life stages, Nielsen found a coincidence of patterns in device and media usage within each stage.

Millennials pass through significant lifestyle changes as they age, and their media device and usage habits shifts as they do, according to Nielsen’s Q4 2015 Total Audience Report.  Nearly all younger, 18-year old Millennials (97%) live in someone else’s home, a parent’s or parents’ in most cases. On the other hand, 9 in 10 of the oldest Millennials (34 years old) live in their own home. Six in 10 of these Millennials do so with children.

Media Habits for Millennials

Turning to corresponding media device penetration and usage, nearly 8 in 10 ¨On Their Own¨ Millennials (78%) subscribe to Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD) services, such as Netflix or Hulu. That’s 14 percentage points higher than younger ¨Dependent Adults¨ who live in someone else’s home, and 20 points higher than ¨Starting a Family¨ Millennials, the oldest age group.

Regardless of age, connected media device penetration tends to be higher among higher income Millennials, Nielsen noted. Collective use of PCs, tablets and smartphones was highest among ¨On Their Own¨ Millennials.¨

Furthermore, ¨On Their Own¨ Millennials also are more likely to have multimedia devices, broadband Internet and laptop PCs. In contrast, ¨Starting a Family¨ Millennials are more likely to own DVRs (47%), DVD players (69%) and tablets (65%).

Millennials living on their own devoted more than 94 hours to using these three connected devices in November 2015, according to Nielsen. That was about 10 hours more than the entire group and 18 hours more than their younger ¨Dependent Adult¨ counterparts. On the other hand, PC penetration is highest, but usage lowest among ¨Dependent Adult¨ Millennials.

Turning to traditional TV viewing, Nielsen found that the average Millennial spent 2 hours 45 minutes watching live TV daily in 4Q 2015 and 1 hour 23 minutes using TV-connected devices. That makes a total of 4 hours 8 minutes watching TV for whatever purpose.

In comparison, ¨Dependent Adult¨ Millennials watch a bit less live TV a day than the average – 2 hours 32 minutes. They also spend less time engaged with TVs – about 3 hours 44 minutes.

Furthermore, multichannel penetration was higher among Millennials Starting a Family than those in the ¨On Their Own¨ age group – 79% vs. 72%. They also spent the most time at home across all three Millennial life stage groups. In sum, ¨Starting a Family¨ Millennials watch the most live TV and make the most use of TV screens.

Nielsen also found that 9 in 10 ¨Dependent Adult¨ and 89% of ¨On Their Own¨ Millennials¨ listen to online radio. That rises to 92% for older Millennials who are ¨Starting a Family.¨