Millennial consumers are highly in demand by marketers, but traditional TV buys aren’t the way to reach them says market research firm GfK. It recently released survey data showing that millennials are the cordless generation: 30 percent of U.S. millennials don’t use cable, satellite, or fiber optic TV services. That compares to 16 percent of baby boomers. In fact, millennials make up 43 percent of the entire cordless population.
GfK got its data from a massive annual survey of 25,000 consumers conducted in-person.
Millennials still love premium TV content, but spend 65 percent of their viewing time streaming shows and movies to a connected TV or other device. Boomers, for contrast, spend 36 percent of their viewing time streaming content, and 56 percent of their time watching traditional TV.
Zeroing in on cordless millennials, GfK finds they’re much more likely to watch popular over-the-top services and platforms. They turn to YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and over-index for Crunchy Roll, Twitch, and Adult Swim’s app.
For this group, going cordless isn’t just a financial decision but a statement of personal freedom. They like that they can watch what they want anywhere at any time. For them, a TV is any device capable of streaming their shows. When they sit down to watch video, 34 percent of them go to a specific show on a streaming service.
All of this makes millennials challenging to reach with traditional advertising, GfK notes.
“One in three millennials is living without a cord—so understanding this population is a major priority for advertisers and marketers,” says Karen Ramspacher, senior vice president of consumer insights and trends at GfK. “These viewers are huge fans of quality programming and content, but they are not fond of being told where, when and how they should watch it. They view streaming services as well worth the money and producers of the best shows ‘on TV.’ Appealing to this unusual combination of untethered living and discernment about content represents a sweet spot for marketers representing millions of brands worldwide.”