Millennials : how they challenge mass media

With the increase in the number of content published on the Internet, content producers are struggling to reach the millennials. Their audience keeps on getting younger and more volatile.

The millennials’ challenge


So this is how we call this new audience : the millennials. They were born knowing how to use a smartphone, in the late 90s. They are a real challenge for content producers. Eighty percent of the millennials‘ content consumption on the web is about videos. Millennials have brand new habits : they love snacking and zapping. They want proper information in no time. They want the freedom of choice. 

This is just the beginning : in less than five years, the whole Internet will be a video-only network, Mark Zuckerberg says. Millennials are the figure of these “new uses” that are spreading to the whole public. Content consumption is now defined by these strong values : mobile, video, instantaneity, freedom and choice.

Replay Generation


The French catch-up TV market is the perfect example to illustrate these values of choice and freedom in this new content consumption behavior. In 2016, French users watched more than 6,5 bn videos on replay portals. It is five times the number of videos that were watched in replay five years earlier. The younger the audience gets, the more they watch content in replay. One fifth of the millennials watches replay at least once a day, against 10% of the 35-49 years-old and 5% of 50+ years-old.

Finally, mobile is the first viewing device for replay content, with 39% of audience share in 2016, against only 5% in 2011. Half of the millennials watches replay on a mobile device.

As the audience gets younger and more mobile and volatile, content producers are looking for new tools and new formats to engage their audience and to create retention. 

The breaking point


These new content consumption habits are challenging our old “mass media” communication model. They highlight its limits and invite us to build a whole new communication system. In our “mass media” model, a sender sends a message to a receiver, always considered as a sum of individuals (“the public”, “the audience”).

Digitalization of the economy provided users with an individualized experience on every aspect of their life : on social networks (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc), on e-commerce websites, on retail platforms, on banking platforms, etc. However, news and communication content are still linear and impersonal. The media are only uploading their linear video, radio or written content to the Internet. Whatever your age, your gender, your profession, and your interests, you all watch the same content (news bulletins, reports, sports) in the same way.  

The audience is looking for an individualization of the user experience, for choice, for engagement, that our “mass media” communication model cannot offer. It is, by definition, linear and meant to reach out to the mass. 


Digital has to serve content


Linearity of our communication model actually locks out the whole digital’s potential. If we rebuild a whole new communication model, we can change the rules and create engaging, individualized and trackable news and communication content. 

Nowadays, news companies and firms measure their audience (public or employees) in a linear way : in “number of likes”, in “number of shares”, in “average viewing time”, in “pages viewed per user”. Individualizing content can provide a far better metrics : we can measure the audience according to its behaviour and to its interests. It creates a virtuous circle : by knowing precisely our audience’s interest, we can produce a far better content tailored for our audience

With SmartReplay®, Geyser addresses these new content consumption habits. SmartReplay® provides 100% individualized video content and allows content producers to track their audience’s behaviour in real time.

Original French article available on Paris&Co LINCC website.

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