Millennials are content on the couch, and a boozy binge-watching session with friends is appealing more to Generation Homebody than a night out partying. Welcome to the age of staying in. Though partying hard may have been a hallmark of youth for generations, Millennials are less intent on pushing boundaries than they are living in the Netflix-and-chill zone. This generation is redefining what a good night looks like—and more than ever it’s more about food and couch time than going out on the town.
For our recent For A Good Time trend, we surveyed young consumers to find out all about their partying habits, and 72% of Millennials and teens said they would rather stay in on the weekends than go out at night. Interestingly, that percentage is highest among 21-24 year olds: 79% say they would rather stay in than go out. Considering the early twenties is generally thought of as a time of wild partying and even weeknights of bar hopping (after all, those hangovers only get worse with age), it’s telling that this age group is especially preferring couch time to club time. So what’s keeping them at home?
1. Screens are their new BFFs.
From live-streaming apps to full-season releases on Netflix, everything from watching others sleep to the latest scripted drama is available to Millennials and teens—and on a 5-inch smartphone with desktop-quality display at that. Our monthly survey found that 81% of 21-33 year olds would rather give up drinking for a week than give up their phones. At the same time, those screens are giving them more content to occupy them on a Saturday night. Binge-watching is the new national pastime for young consumers. Qualitatively, we’ve seen that binging is a group activity for many Millennials—so watching screens together counts as a very good night.
2. Nightclubs have lost their appeal.
Bars and night clubs don’t hold the same appeal in real life as they do in movies or popular music. Millennials and teens largely favor more relaxed and group-oriented settings during a night out. Foodie culture might be contributing to nightclubs’ demise. For Millennials these days, a good night out is more about food than drinking, and when they are going out, restaurants and movies are appealing more than bars and night clubs: our study found that 78% of 21-33 year olds say they would prefer a night out at a restaurant, versus 34% of 21-33 year olds who would prefer a night at a bar.
3. They’re watching their wallets—and saving for bigger experiences.
Another factor to the growth of home socializing is their wallets: Wine app Vivino found that almost 6 out of 10 Millennials say that cost outweighs all other influences when deciding what to drink. That means drinking at home and avoiding the price tag hikes of bars and nightclubs is more appealing than ever. Overall, Millennials are watching their wallets and looking for ways to spend less—and they’re succeeding. But they also might be watching their spending on frequent nights out to save for bigger and better experiences. When we researched Millennial spending, we found that more than half of employed Millennials are saving up for something special, and a trip/travel was at the top of their savings list.