Digital disruption to the media began early in the days of the Internet throwing every media company into a crisis mode. Now this is happening again – this time, even homepage viewership is on the decline. I am not saying this is the death of the webpage, having a webpage or content site is simply not enough.
Content is now distributed and stories are best shared and read through new platforms such as Facebook’s Instant Articles, Apple News, Buzzfeed, the Starbucks mobile app or through Reddit, a bulletin board platform that doesn’t sound like something new since the early days of the Internet. It is an entertainment, social network, and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links, making it essentially a crowd sourced news channel.
Today all Millennials are gravitating to social networks and news media sites and assume everything is free. This generation, (confident, always connected, ramen-eating, ultra short attention span, impecunious, underemployed, some over-educated, gaming obsessed, and so forth) millennials are not only the largest generation in US and world history, they’re on the cusp of commanding the largest influence and voice of our consumer culture. They expect technology to work and simply-work and if it doesn’t, you will have a big problem. They are tech-loving consumers but have unrealistic expectations that technology needs to be seamless (thanks to Apple) with a new standard of intuitiveness. They align themselves with the latest technology and will try anything new and cool and quick to critic and quick to find workaround. Computers don’t crash and smart phones should be able to handle everything.
Millennials don’t watch TV (and others are following) and they sleep with their cell phones next to them perhaps 9 out of 10. Probably 10 out of 10 have no landlines and no interest in watching TV. Smartphone is the most important tool in their lives and when people are saying the smartphone is becoming a commodity. It is not. How can it be when it is the most important tool or digital companion? Smartphones are not doing well because the expectation is rising and Smartphones have replaced the cigarette (good thing) as things to do in those odd moments, lonely moments or simply filling up every minute of downtime. It is replacing newspaper, cigarette, chewing gum, calculator, wallet and many other tools…. hook-ups, meet-ups or start-ups.
There is no online or offline, social is social and other opinions matter. They get along well with their parents and even have friendship with parents, which didn’t happen in the older generation. They actually influence what products their parents buy, what apps their parents use and where to travel. They have a “we can fix it together” mindset and “we can change it all” attitude. That’s why they love working for start-ups and game changing companies with a purpose.
More millennials than non-millennials integrate their beliefs and causes into their choice of companies to support, their purchases, and their day-to-day interactions. They put the money where the mouth is. Millennials also care about what’s genuine and authentic. They are looking for somewhere between a retro aesthetic and a search for honesty and authenticity. Something advertisers are still struggling with. For many millennials, they prefer to climb the Himalayas then corporate ladder. They are raised to believe they can do whatever they want and they are hitting the realities as they enter the society. Millennials are hard to catch. Media companies are not getting it. You need to work harder.