The news consumption habits of Millennials are the focus of “Millennials On Millennials,” a new report from Nielsen which combines info from a trio of datasets to study the second largest generation group in the U.S. As the amount of time spent with media continuing to grow – U.S. adults spend over 11 hours a day with it, according to the latest estimate – news appetites are rising in step with overall media consumption. The top takeaway: news reaches 95% of Millennials, defined as adults ages 21-37, and 99% of those 38 and older. But the 38+ demo spends three times longer engaging with national news in a year than Millennials.
Nielsen’s analysis of how Millennials consume news across national TV, digital and radio platforms shows just how digitally focused this generation is. Digital news reaches 88% of Millennials in a month, compared to about 80% of adults 38 and older. That contrasts with TV news which reaches less than two-thirds of Millennials, but reaches 90% of the older demographic. And while radio news has the lowest monthly reach among Millennials, at 23%, their time spent with radio news actually exceeds both digital and TV news at nine hours per month for radio news, compared with three hours for digital news and six hours for TV news.
Radio, of course, has a much larger reach among Millennials when looking across all formats. According to Nielsen’s Q1 2018 Total Audience Report, AM/FM reaches 91% of 18-34 year-olds per week, the highest of any media. And radio overall racks up nearly ten hours a week with this demo.
Honing in on digital news consumption, both Millennials and the 38+ demo consume news on mobile devices equally, Nielsen’s report found. Mobile is driving digital news consumption, reaching 30% more digital news consumers than desktop, and a third of Millennial news viewers are reached only by digital news.
Other findings from the study: Millennials are dramatically influenced to tune in to TV during breaking news moments, even more so than adults 38 and older. Millennials continue to look toward digital news during these events but also tune into TV for supplemental information. Cable news brought in some of the highest scores for adults 38-64. Millennials believe they increase their knowledge from late night shows as a source for news more so than adults 38-64. They are also much more likely to want to take action or be open to changing their opinion as a result of viewing late night clips.
The “Millennials On Millennials” report includes data from Nielsen’s Q1 2018 Total Audience Report, Nielsen Media Impact and Nielsen’s Audio National Regional Database, Fall 2017. It also includes a study from a Nielsen Media Lab online controlled exposure test, which Nielsen says helps to better understand hard to measure differences between several categories of news programming.