Few inventions have changed the media landscape, and how it is consumed, like the Internet. But some aspects of that transition might be counter-intuitive, for example the way millennials engage with the news.
A study from IPA found that while the British population read 65 % of their news content via printed media, and an additonal 18 % via digital channels, the allocation for millennials is 23/34. Furthermore, millennials consume 22 % of their news content on mobile platforms and 7 % on tablets, and three out of four visited a newsbrand website to get further information when they saw an interesting story on social media.
This may come as no surprise, but another study made in US found that 53 % of Americans 18-34 year olds regularly use paid news content – both in print and in digital channels. 40 % also paid out of their own pocket, which goes against the idea that millennials expect everything on the Internet to be “free”. “News orientation” drives the willingness to pay for content more than socioeconomic status, but Facebook and search engines are still the main sources for obtaining news among millennials willing to pay for content.
For publishers, the challenge is to create content that is worth paying for. The interest is there – millennials like to be informed and enlightened – but there is so much “free” news out there that it’s not always clear why one should pay to read them.
The same might also be true for advertisers, as much recent research has shown: the young audience likes ads, just not bad and intrusive ones. As access to information and content continues to grow at an impressive speed, standing out with high quality products is a necessity for publishers as well as advertisers. Indulge the audience and they will love you back.