Millennials are showing the way for older generations

Models Amelia Schubert and Karina Beilina at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney. Christian Vierig/WireImage

Millennials are now having a measurable influence on the media consumption of older and younger generations in Australia.

The latest Deloitte’s Media Consumer survey, a snapshot of how Australians are consuming different media and entertainment, finds there are many millennial behaviours subsequently adopted by Xers, Boomers and even Matures.

Stuart Johnston at Deloitte says the millennial effect — the distinct media consumption habits of younger age groups –- is paving the way for other demographics.

The fastest rise in usage of social media over the last five years has been among Boomers. But as they catch up, the Millenials are moving on.

“Millennials are traditionally early adopters when it comes to technology, which in turn shapes their media consumption behaviours,” says Johnston.

“We’re definitely seeing this reflected in this year’s survey, with higher rates of bingeing, multi-tasking and moving to devices other than the TV to consume content.”

Social Media

Millennials are leading the social media revolution, with 84% of leading millennials (aged 27 to 32) and 77% trailing millennials (14-26) being daily users of social networks.

Millennials (29%) also use social media as their main source of news compared to only 12% of other respondents.

Source: Deloitte

This trend is spreading to other generations, with 20% of Gen Xers using social as their primary news source this year compared to just 6% in 2015.

Across generations, Facebook is the most used (92%) social media site. But younger generations are looking further for their social media needs.

The second and third most used social networks are Instagram (28%) and Twitter (24%), followed by Google+, Snapchat and LinkedIn (all at 18%).

Snapchat and Instagram are predominately used by Millennials who are leading the shift to mobile focused and image-based social networks or are seeking environments which have not been taken over by older generations.

Streaming Media

Millennials are also leading the uptake of streaming media services such as Netflix, Stan and Presto. More than a third (35%) subscribe compared to 14% of other generations.

Almost everyone, it seems, like to binge watch. Almost three quarters (74%) of Millennials do so, compared to 50% of others.

The trend may impact traditional television free-to-air networks faster than thought.

“If other age groups continue to follow Millennials’ lead we will find ourselves being entertained more on the internet — already the number one entertainment activity for Millennials,” says Johnston.

“And when we are watching TV content it will more likely be via a streaming service than live programming.”

But there are key differences within the Millennials generation.

Trailing Millennials (14 to 26 year-olds) are the true digital natives with a higher adoption of streaming to access TV content, increased willingness to pay for all forms of digital content and more pronounced digital habits such as bingeing and multi-tasking.

The Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2016 is based on the results of more than 2000 consumers surveyed in Australia.

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