Gen Y Goes Digital

With about 75 million individuals ages 12 to 29 living in the U.S. today, Gen Y is believed to be the largest generational cohort since the baby boomers. Now digital media is trouncing traditional channels in the battle for affluent Gen Y consumers, according to a new study by L2, which examined the media consumption habits of well-heeled millennials, defined as anyone born between 1980-2000. According to online news site, MediaPost, the L2 study was based on an international survey panel of 535 young adults who expect to earn more than $80,000 per year in the near future. Of key interest to advertisers, marketers and retailers, the study delved into the implications for luxury marketers looking to connect with prestige oriented members of this rising generation.

The study notes that Facebook is a dominant presence in the Gen Y media mix, with 81 percent of affluent millennial consumers using it every day, which is about twice the proportion who read newspaper content (45 percent) or watch TV shows (44 percent) everyday. Some 25 percent say they use mobile devices to access social media, while a solid majority give social media an important role in their consumer decisions, MediaPost says. Sixty three percent use social media to engage with brands, and more than half say their attitudes toward brands are shaped by Facebook, blogs and online video produced by brands. One other important point that retailers should note is that 45 percent say they read blogs everyday.

Indeed, online video is making impressive strides among the Gen Y affluent audience: 42 percent of the sample group watch TV shows online, while 27 percent watch movies online. It’s no surprise that mobile is playing an increasingly important role, with 13 percent saying they had watched video on a mobile device in the past 24 hours. When Gen Y affluents do consume traditional media content, it tends to be via digital channels. For example, 66 percent of respondents say they read newspaper content online. However, there is a considerable variation between media, 71 percent of respondents say they still read print magazines, compared to just 24 percent who read magazine content online.