For Millennials 13-24, Digital Delivers!

According to Defy Media, in partnership with Hunter Qualitative and KnoWhy Research, focusing on an under-researched segment of teens and young adult Millennials, a large driver of digital content consumption was that for the 62% majority, digital content just makes them feel good about themselves vs. 40% reported for TV. 

According to the report, digital content has become king, and online personalities reign as the most relatable and influential, with 13-24 viewers revealing a considerable weekly hours watching “free” online video, and declaring the internet the dominant platform delivering the experience and content more suited to their lifestyle.  And, you tube personalities wield more power with this audience, with nearly half opening content featuring these new celebs, and over 60%  saying they influence path to purchase.

Andy Tu, EVP Marketing, DEFY Media, says that “…no surprise that this generation is spending more time online than any other medium… (but the) study shows how wide the divide is… and “why” these consumers are creating a deeper connection with digital content…”

According to the survey, 69% of the respondents say digital delivers the content they want to watch and that they can relate to, vs. TV, which garnered 56% and 41%, respectively. 66% say they turn to digital content to relax, while only 47% turn to TV to chill out.

The findings show Millennials watching 11.3 hours of free online video and 10.8 hours of subscription online video weekly, nearly twice the time reported for free online TV offerings from broadcast and cable networks (6.4 hours,) or 8.3 for regularly scheduled TV.  More important, says the report, 96% of those surveyed say they watch online video, 57% watch free online TV, and 56% watch recorded TV with no differences across the age range.

Videos on YouTube and similar sites are rated “entertaining” by 76% of 13-24 year olds, compared to just 55% for free online TV offerings from broadcast and cable networks. 63% of the respondents say that TV has too many advertisements vs. 41% for the web. Breaking out 13-17 year olds, this figure jumps to 66%. 

In August 2014 Variety released a study showing YouTube celebs’ influence on 13-17 year olds far exceeded the appeal of current top “Q” score ranked celebrities. While the data substantiated the growing popularity of these digital personalities, the study dug deeper to uncover what’s driving this movement.

For the millennial set, YouTubers ARE the modern day role models.  Among the younger 13-17 segment , 32% responded they are more likely to look up to a YouTube personality over traditional celebrities, while the older 18-24 set reported a slightly higher affinity towards TV and movie stars (36% vs. 26% for YouTubers). 

Interestingly, 52% of that same group reported they still “feel closer” to their favorite YouTubers and 46% stated “they like the same things I do”, while that figure jumps to 61% for 13-17 year-olds. Considering purchasing influence, 63% of all respondents stated they would try a product or brand recommended by a YouTube personality, while only 48% reported that TV and movie star power matters, irrespective of age. 

Andy Tu concluded by saying that “…whether you’re a marketer or a content creator, the (study) results magnify the growing influence of these millennial consumers and further affirm that traditional media is falling short with this audience…”

The study included both quantitative and qualitative research methods with DEFY Media partnering with Hunter Qualitative Research and child psychologists at KnoWhy Research, to conduct an online forum with “buddy pairs,” followed by an online survey of youths ages 13-24, representative by age, gender, culture and race.

For more information, please visit DEFY media here.

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