Traditional Media Still Reaches Early Adopter Millennials

March 20, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Magazines | Media & Entertainment | Mobile Phone | Radio | Retail & E-Commerce | Social Media | Television | Youth & Gen X

Experian-Early-Adopt-Millennials-Media-Usage-Mar201352% of Millennials are above-average in terms of their adoption of technology, and these early adopters are heavily reliant on their mobile devices as sources of information, communication, and entertainment. But they still keep traditional media firmly in the mix, according to an Experian Marketing Services report. While mobile phones were used by a leading 94% in the 7 days prior to the survey, 93% watched TV, 83% listened to the radio, and 66% read a newspaper.

Interestingly, a larger proportion of respondents reported using TV and radio than their home computer (81%), a fairly curious result that could be attributable to this group relying on their mobile devices more than a computer to access the internet.

But while TV and radio have great reach among early adopter Millennials, they don’t enjoy high rates of consumption, meaning that one can’t necessarily conflate media reach with interest or attention. Compared to the average Millennial, early adopters spend 3% less time watching TV and 1% less time listening to the radio. By contrast, they spend 17% more time with tablets and 14% more time with their mobile phones. Another surprising result: of the media types listed, early adopters over-indexed the most for magazine consumption, spending 27% more time than the average Millennial on this medium.

The survey also asked respondents to rate each medium they use on a scale of importance with regards to being a source of information, communication, and entertainment. Among those media, 42% of cable TV viewers cited it as a “very important” source of entertainment. (By comparison, 36% of game console users and 36% of mobile phone users shared that sentiment about their respective devices.) The importance of cable TV as an entertainment medium speaks to the success of recent series such as The Walking Dead, which consistently sees high engagement from viewers (see the latest chart on cable TV engagement here.)

The Experian study also notes that 34% of early adopter Millennials agree with the statement: “If I couldn’t have cable, I wouldn’t watch television.” 3 in 10 also agreed that: “I find TV advertising interesting and quite often it gives me something to talk about.” While that’s a double-barreled question (are there many who find TV ads interesting, but don’t talk about them?) the implication is that some early adopters will share these ads.

Other Findings:

  • 7 in 10 early adopter Millennials agree that they compare prices online before making a purchase. 56% agree that after researching online, they go to a physical store to purchase.
  • 38% share comments about products and services on social networking sites.
  • Compared to the average Millennial, early adopters over-index the most in the following mobile activities: IM/chat (132); reading media (126); listening to music (122); email (120); and watching downloaded/streamed video (120).
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