That’s one of the key findings of Nielsen’s second Millennials On Millennials report. The analysis considers millennials and advertising, social media, communication, entertainment, spending and technology – and there is plenty for the music industry to chew over as well as for the radio business to breathe a sigh of relief about.
Millennials (i.e. those aged 18-34) are now the second-largest generation in the US, but they are not necessarily abandoning “old” media. They might be glued to their smartphones (1,179 minutes each in Q4 2016 on their devices compared to 659 minutes for those aged 35-49), but their consumption of broadcast radio is pretty much holding steady while overall listening to digital radio has grown. “Millennials are spending about the same amount of time listening to traditional radio as they were a year ago – even with a wealth of new media fighting for engagement time,” says the report. They listen to 10 hours and 14 minutes a week, a figure that is not significantly lower than the 11 hours and 17 minutes that those aged 25-34 spend listening to radio.
Specifically around music, 57% of millennials use two or more apps to stream music while only 39% of those aged 35+ are as app promiscuous. They also over index in terms of podcast listening, with 24% listening to podcasts at least once a week and a further 13% listening every day (it’s 12% weekly and 5% daily for those over the age of 35).
Their loyalty is proving increasingly harder to win, however, which is a lesson that all media and content producers need to take on board. “Millennials are an unfocused audience and they are less likely to stay loyal to specific media the way other generations are,” say the report’s authors. They are very much not sit-back listeners when it comes to music. “Millennials are active listeners of music streaming services and are 21% more likely to frequently choose songs than to let the music play without making changes,” claims the report. “They also access digital music more regularly than consumers 35 and older.”
They may be zipping across multiple consumption platforms, but the net effect is they are powering through more content. “The reality of today’s media scenario is that the addition of new offerings has actually inspired increased consumption,” runs the report’s conclusion. So, in brief, they are consuming more, but just because they are listening now doesn’t mean they’ll be listening tomorrow.