Millennials Spend More Time With Mobile, Impacts TV Time

That millennials are mobile crazy has been well established. How this obsessive behavior is affecting their broader media habits is less understood.

New research now suggests that the mobile myopia of 18- to-34-year-olds is clearly cutting into their time with other media channels.

Today, 77% of this closely watched generation use a smartphone daily, according to new findings from Millward Brown Digital. That far exceeds the mobile habits even of Gen Xers — 60% of whom check their smartphone daily.

Rather than multitasking, however, millennials appear to be spending significantly less time with their TV and computers. On a daily basis, 77% are watching TV compared to 86% of Gen Xers, and whopping 91% of Baby Boomers, MBD found.

Meanwhile, 58% of millennials are firing up their laptops or desktops at least once a day, compared to 67% of Gen Xers and 71% of Boomers.

Joline McGoldrick, research director at Millward Brown Digital, said the findings have clear implications for marketers.

“With such marked differences across generations, marketers need to ensure that their … investments match their audience’s screen preference,” McGoldrick notes in the new report.  

Mobile use appears to have limits even among millennials, however. According to MBD, all demographics prefer bigger screens when sitting down for tasks that require more than 10 minutes of their time.

Worldwide, advertisers will spend $64.25 billion on mobile this year — up 60% compared with 2014 — by eMarketer’s estimate. By 2018, the research firm posits, advertisers will shell out $158.5 billion on mobile, or about 22% of all ad spending.

For its findings, MBD surveyed more than 1,000 respondents in the U.S. who reported owning or having access to a smartphone or tablet. Generation X encompasses adults ages 35 to 50, and the boomer generation consists of adults 51 to 69.

3 comments about "Millennials Spend More Time With Mobile, Impacts TV Time".
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  1. Bleeding Obvious from Sugary Truths, February 6, 2015 at 10:14 a.m.

    So, we've worked out that younger people use their phones more, and correlates with them using other devices less. I'm speachless.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 6, 2015 at 3:09 p.m.

    Breaking news!!! "Millennials"---the 18-34s----have always been less frequent viewers of TV than those over 35. The reason is obvious. Younger adults have less time to devote to TV and a higher proportion of TV fare is of little or no interest to them. That was true in 1965 as well as 2015. The finding that 77% of the 18-34s surveyed claimed to watch one or more TV shows per day, compared to somewhat higher claims by older respondents is hardly earth shattering, nor does it suggest that advertisers need to switch to mobile phone advertising as they may not be able to get their messages to millennials via TV anymore. The average 18-34-year old watches about 25-26 hours of "linear TV" a week. That gives advertisers plenty of avenues for reaching them the old fashioned way. This doesn't mean that mobile hasn't value to offer---it does. But instead of scaring advertisers into shifting dollars from one media venue to anothe, based on presumed gains or losses in audience tonnage, each medium should sell itself based on what benefits it, specifically, has to offer.

  3. Long Ellis from Tetra TV, February 6, 2015 at 5:03 p.m.

    Perhaps the best strategy for Millennials, or anyone for that matter, is to reach them with the appropriate TV content and then re-target them on their mobile devices after the initial TV exposure. This will add frequency to an advertiser's TV campaign, which can be difficult to achieve with light viewers. The combination of TV and mobile is a trend that is growing very quickly. Using multiple screens is an effective strategy for any demo category.

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