Will Millennials Pay for Your Content? Good Luck With That.

Will Millennials Pay for Content? Good Luck With That.

Our friends at the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs and the American Press Institute are back with a new survey about Millennials. Actually, it’s a new look at the earlier survey that examines the information Millennials consume – and that which they disregard. We’ve written about this survey before, specifically the part regarding how Millennials get their news. Last spring, the data allowed us to be hopeful. We were told:

  • 85% of Millennials say keeping up with the news is at least somewhat important
  • 69% get news daily

Well, researchers have taken a deeper dive into those data and have come up with some new insights regarding not only what is worth the Millennials’ time, but also their money. Producers of movies, TV shows, or music can relax. Some Millennials will pay for your product. Producers of news? Millennials are just not that into you:

  • 77 percent paid in the last year for movies and television
  • 69 percent for cable
  • 54 percent for music
  • 51 percent for video games
  • 30 percent for print magazine or newspaper subscriptions. Ouch.

We also learned that Millennials are more special than perhaps other generations have given them credit for. Some of us are Baby Boomers, some are Gen Xers, and some are from the Greatest Generation. But, it turns out Millennials come in four categories. At least as far as their Internet and news consumerism is concerned.

  • The Unattached – Younger (18-24). They pay for very little of anything, seek to be entertained, and news is something that happens… somewhere else.
  • The Explorers – Also 18-24, but find social and civic value in keeping abreast of current events.
  • The Distracted – Older (25 to 34). They’ve begun to settle down but are preoccupied with establishing careers and starting families. They don’t seek news and they certainly don’t pay for it.
  • The Activists – The Activists are ethnically diverse, also 25 to 34 but they actively seek news and the majority of The Activists (51%) will pay for a digital or print news subscription.

This is a lot of confusing information for marketers and PR professionals.

For decades, we’ve been told that the consumer your clients want most is in that key demographic of 18-to-49-year olds. Within that Holy Grail demo sit the Millennials. Some of them will look for entertainment and news content, some of them will not. Some of them will pay for entertainment and news content, some of them will not. And some of them will pay for none of it. So where to put the content you want them to see?

The Millennials continue to confound the other generations. Will The Unattached, The Explorers, and The Distracted Millennials grow into The Activists?  Stay tuned. There should be another survey along any minute….

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