Nielsen: When It Comes to Technology, Millennials Aren’t the Same


March 24, 2016

Millennials are the generational sweet spot for marketers and media companies, but they’re no monolithic group.

The booming cohort of adults ages 18 to 34 were divided into three groups based on life stages in new Nielsen study out Thursday that measures their varying usage of TV and technology.

The trio: Dependent adults, who live at home with parents or other family members; “on their own” singles; and usually older millennials who are starting a family.

The on-their-own group is most likely to be college educated, with a white-collar job, renting a house or apartment and living in an urban area. They also are least likely to own DVRs (37% have them), DVD players (50%), desktop computers (27%) and tablets (54%). But those who have them use digital devices more often.  On-their-owns also have the highest ownership rates of laptops (81%) and are more likely than the other groups to subscribe to a subscription streaming or video on demand service (78% do).

The starting-a-family group watches more TV, on average —four hours and 40 minutes a day, an hour more than the on-their-own crowd — which makes sense given the presence of kids in their homes. They are most likely to own DVD players and tablets, listen to radio and subscribe to cable or satellite TV. Those cable-friendly family millennials add further credence to the belief that worries about “cord-cutting” may be overstated. The study, Nielsen says, implies that “doing without cable and solely relying on Internet-streamed video may be a life stage choice rather than a permanent decision.”