What You Don’t Know About Millennials

Touch the Code

Millennials – the same as the rest of us?

I was working on a post on this very theme when the weekly Small Market Radio Newsletter appeared in my inbox and I read my friend Jay Mitchell’s summary of the most recent research into the media consumption habits of Millennials. Seeing no reason to reinvent the wheel, I decided just to share the article verbatim.

One thing I’d add: when discussing “Millennials,” there’s a great temptation to lump the entire generation into one category and assume their attitudes, preferences, and worldview are monolithic. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to understand Millennials, you need to understand that they are not a different species from, say, “Baby Boomers” or “Generation Xers.”  Roy H. Williams put it this way in the ninth of his “Ten Most Common Mistakes In Marketing,”

  1. Believing that “Millennials” Aren’t Like the Rest of Us

Millennials aren’t a tribe, they are a collection of tribes. They do not behave as a single, cohesive birth cohort. Google “Millennials” and the dictionary definition that will pop up will show the word “millennial” most commonly used in this sentence: “The industry brims with theories on what makes millennials tick.” But when you look at a list of what millennials supposedly want, it’s exactly what the rest of us want. Yes, they’re not like we “50-somethings” used to be, but then we’re not like we used to be, either.

So, without further ado…

Millennial Myths and Realities

Bob Hoffman, creator of the widely read Ad Contrarian blog, says, “I hate the embarrassing obsession with Millennials that has been the fetish of the self-absorbed ad industry for almost a decade.” At the risk of obsessing, Westwood One wanted to examine frequently heard beliefs about Millennial media habits. We turned to Nielsen, Edison Research,
and The Advertising Research Foundation to check the facts on these assumptions. Test your knowledge.
MYTH:
“Millennials spend all their time on smartphones.”
REALITY:
Millennials spend two-thirds of their media time with TV and radio.
Source: The Nielsen Total Audience Report Q2 2015, Monday-Friday. TV Connected Devices = DVD, Game Console,
Multimedia Device, VCR. Adults 18-34 share of average audience Monday-Friday from 6A-12M
MYTH:
“If you want mass reach with Millennials, go with television.”
REALITY:
AM/FM radio is America’s #1 mass reach medium Nearly 2 out of 5 Millennials are NOT reached by ad-supported TV. % of persons 18-34 reached weekly AM/FM radio 18-34 reach TV 18-34 reach.
Source: Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report Q3 2015 / Weekly Reach % from Q3 2014 and Q3 2015 for TV and Radio
MYTH:
“No one under 35 listens to AM/FM radio anymore.”
REALITY:
More Millennials listen to AM/FM radio each week than any other generation.
NUMBER OF LISTENERS REACHED EACH WEEK
• Millennials (18-34)—67 million
• Gen X (35-49)—57 million
• Boomers (50-64)—58 million
MYTH:
“Six out of 10 agencies/marketers believe Millennial radio listening is dropping.”
REALITY:
18-34 Millennial listening to AM/FM radio is up 6%.
Source: Nielsen 48 portable people meter markets, persons 18-34, June 16 versus June 15, Monday-Friday 6AM-7PM. Adults 18-34 +6% June 2016 vs. June 2015
MYTH:
“In the car, the number one thing Millennials do is stream online radio on their smartphones.”
REALITY:
AM/FM radio is the centerpiece of 18-34 in-car audio.
Source: Edison Research, “Share of Ear,” Q4 2015. 
PERSONS 18-34—IN CAR LISTENING
AM/FM radio—67%
• Pandora—3%
• SiriusXM—9%
• Owned music—15%
• Podcasts—2%
• Spotify—2%
• Other streaming audio—1%
• Music Videos On YouTube—1%
MYTH:
“The number one way Millennials learn about new music is from streaming and social media.”
REALITY:
AM/FM radio is the #1 source of music discovery.
Source: Nielsen Music 360 Study; data collected July 18-August 3, 2015 among 3,305 consumers
MYTH:
“Millennials mostly listen to cool indie music from unknown artists.”
REALITY:
Top 40, Adult Contemporary, Country, and Rock are the leading 18-34 radio formats.
Source: Nielsen Audio Today Tapscan Web National Regional Database, Fall 2015; M-Sun 6a-12m
MYTH:
“The optimal media plan to reach Millennials: put all your money into mobile and social.”
REALITY:
The optimal media mix for Millennials is 71% traditional and 29% digital.
Source: The Advertising Research Foundation Optimal Media Mix, “How Advertising Works: Ground Truth Experiment,” March 2016 
-reprinted from Small Market Radio Newsletter (July 21, 2016)

________________

Rod

Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He became sales manager for the Pullman Radio Group in 1979 and served in that position until 2006. He continues to serve clients in the region as the stations’ senior account executive. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at PalousePics.com.

About Rod Schwartz

Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He became sales manager for the Pullman Radio Group in 1979 and served in that position until 2006. He continues to serve clients in the region as the stations’ senior account executive. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at PalousePics.com.
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