Reaching Millennials – The Challenge for Traditional Broadcasters

For those who aren’t quite sure, Millennials are the generation who reached adulthood in or after the year 2000, so to generalise people born after the 1982, so if you’re aged between 18 and 35, you’re a millennial…..

I was fortunate enough to have taken part in a discussion on the future of content in Edinburgh in August, and this in a full room where the majority of the audience was under 25. Whilst discussing how current audiences interact with content I threw a couple of questions out to the audience. The responses were interesting to say the least.

Question 1 – “How many of the audience watch live linear TV”?  – Only around 10% raised their hands and the majority of these were from the older members of the audience. As a supplementary question I asked how many watched content online through platforms like Netflix and YouTube, virtually every hand shot up.

Question 2 – “Who was willing to pay for this content”? Again I was slightly surprised to see around 90% willing.

This throws up a couple of clear challenges but also opportunities for the traditional broadcaster.

At S4C we were acutely aware that the 16-25 demographic particularly weren’t engaging with our traditional linear content, so what did we do?

Sianel PUMP (Channel FIVE) is a YouTube channel where every month around five items, approximately 5five minutes in length are published. Comedy rants by DJ Bry, 5 things that drew the Guardians Elena Crescis attention on the internet, 24 hours with Cai Morgan in a European destination, 10 things comedy vlogger Adam Gilder remembers from his childhood and 5 minute 360 discussions on a burning topic.

Although the channel and its content calls YouTube home what’s interesting is the majority of the viewing, over 90%, takes place on Facebook. And thanks to the wonderful world Facebook data we know that 70% of the viewing is done by under 35’s. Bingo.

So what of the future of TV as we currently know it? Well, people, young and old, still watch content on the ever increasing sized screen in the living room, but less is being viewed live and in family groups. More content is being delivered, due to the continuous increases in broadband connections and speeds, via the internet, on demand and, as the above question and answer shows, for a price.

So where next? Social media platforms are morphing in to content delivery platforms, more content is being consumed on mobile devices, more content is being made by the consumers.

At the end of the day it all comes down to content, make something someone wants to watch and make it well, it will find an audience.

MillennialsWhether it pays the bills? That’s another question for another day.

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