A new Nielsen study provides more insights about the Millennial mindset. For starters, they aver that Gen Y isn't especially loyal to media outlets, especially when it comes to their music choices.
But data that we're now presenting on behalf of public radio suggest that may not be true across the board. Our newly released Public Radio Techsurvey 9 is a combined effort of the Public Radio Program Directors group, along with 40 public radio stakeholders. Together, they helped us aggregate more than 16,700 surveys – and in the process, more than 1,500 Millennials.
While Millennials may have many media choices and options, they are especially loyal to the public radio stations they listen to – and donate to. In the chart below, Net Promoter recommendation scores show their clear sense of connection to public radio – even higher than Boomers.
We believe that one of the reasons why Millennials have shown a sense of loyalty to public radio revolves around how networks and local stations have stepped up their digital distribution in recent years – especially in the area of podcasting.
Our Techsurveys – especially the public radio edition – clearly shows just how popular podcasts are to Millennials. We got the same strong message in our ethnographic interviews during “The Millennial Project” we recently finished up. Between on-demand, control, diverse topics, and a more casual production style, podcasts resonate especially well with Gen Y.
Nielsen saw the same thing in their study:
It's why two of public radio's best will be speaking to our “Broadcasters Meet Podcaster” audience at Podcast Movement today – WNYC's Dean Cappello and NPR One's Tamar Charney. Both are ensconced in podcasting for their major brands, and will talk about why on-demand audio has become a force.
But before you head off for the day thinking that Millennials are all about new media, here's something else to think about. One of the most fascinating finding from our ethnographic interviews was seeing a preponderance of very “old school” media in their apartments, condos, and homes.
From books to vinyl to rabbit ears, we kept running into analog media and gadgets that fly in the face of stereotypes that Millennials are typified by the rocket scientists in “The Big Bang Theory.”
In fact, a recent Wall Street Journal story talked about the growing trend among young people who are buying “rabbit ears” – antennas that allow them to pull in local TV stations at no fee – yes, just like in the good old days before cable. Millennials are also the most likely group to have cut the cord or never to have purchased pay television in the first place.
As mentioned, turntables and vinyl record albums were common sites during our Millennial “home invasions.” And to punctuate that point, note the photo at the top of this post featuring 18 year-old Sam Kiszka, bass player for Greta Van Fleet, rock's new phenom band that includes his two brothers. Yes, there he is, perusing albums in a record store.
Stereotype Millennials at your own risk. Because as more research is conducted – quantitative and qualitative – this generation will surprise you.
(Isn't Sam holding Dire Straits' album “Brothers In Arms?” How appropriate.)