Millennials & new media platforms – A match made in heaven

Millennials are now the most dominant part of the worldwide workforce, having outnumbered baby boomers and the Gen X. They are soon likely to also become the biggest consumer group across the globe.  By the end of this decade, one in three adults will be a millennial.

Millennials : The Indian Youth
Millennials : The Indian Youth

Why so much attention is given to their preferences and consumption patterns, then, becomes amply apparent from these numbers.
While millennials are known to do things and make choices very differently from their predecessors, the one domain where the influence of their ways is perhaps one of the deepest is media and content consumption.While millennials are often made the scapegoat for the gradual demise of the newspaper and traditional TV programming, a report by Media Insight People suggests that 85% of those belonging to this generation are, in fact, heavily into current affairs and like being abreast of everything that is happening, not just around them, but in the world. Then why the blame? The answer is simple… Millenials are definitely into news and rich entertainment and infotainment but their consumption pattern differs greatly from their parents’ and grandparents’.
They like to get their news and entertainment round-the-clock, through devices, they are hooked onto throughout the day, preferably in snackable, bite-sized formats that they can consume while catching a break between meetings and preferably via posts that are peppered with opinions of their friends and family for greater contextual relevance.
Millenials are specific about the kind of content it wishes to consume and it’s specific about how it wants to consume it. Unlike baby boomers who often allocate a separate hour to read the newspaper with their morning tea or an evening time slot to watch TV with the whole family, Millennials want their information updates throughout the day. They want to be entertained while sitting at a café waiting for a friend; they want to watch their favourite show from exactly the point where they last left off, whenever they like. They want to know what their favourite celebrity is up to, but not from a famous gossip columnist when they have direct access to the Instagram accounts of everyone from a TV star to their much-loved novelist.
Facebook has 1.86 billion users worldwide and the largest number of these is from India at 40 million. India is also WhatsApp’s largest market with 200 million active monthly users. As of November 2016, India had 16 million Instagram subscribers and over 90% of these were under 35. These are just examples of the intimate relationship between Millennials in the country and the new platforms via which they prefer to consume text, audio and video content.
This does not mean, however, that Millennials have less respect for trustworthy sources of news and established producers of entertainment. This simple means that their propensity to consume that content goes up exponentially when it is shared by people they know and like; they are more prone to watch that short film or glance through that listicle on how the new budget is going to change their lives when they can see interest from others in their peer group about the same and when they can discuss the content within their communities, both physical and virtual. They are more likely to watch a show or movie that crops up in a recommendation list curated specifically based on their viewing patterns.
Traditional sources of content are no way on the brink of a decline. But they are in need of robust reinvention if they have to survive in the age of the discerning Millennial. Building engagement, trust and interest with Millenials are of essence. The era of one-way communication is behind us and it’s time for dialogue and feedback. It’s time for quality content that is shareable, approachable and is presented in short-duration and highly personalized formats. To cater to a Millenial audience, established and traditional media houses are required to revitalize themselves, re-align their strategies and re-assess their ways of measuring the success of their content. This is the only way they can truly leverage the unbridled monetization opportunities that wait to be tapped.
Written By Saket Saurabh, Business Head, Digital – Bloomberg | Quint

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