29 Things Millennials Love & Hate About Online Video

Want mil­len­ni­als to watch and share your videos? You need to know how they behave and con­sume video. Here are 29 use­ful sta­tis­tics and insights.

Greg Jarboe By Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR. Join the discussion » 0 comments

There is a ton of research about all the things that Mil­len­ni­als love and hate about online video. Why? Well, 18- to 34-year-old dig­i­tal natives are one of the most high­ly sought-after adver­tis­ing demos with glob­al spend­ing pow­ers of $2.45 tril­lion. So pro­fes­sion­al mar­keters need to learn how mil­len­ni­al audi­ences dif­fer in behav­ior and pref­er­ence from Gen Z, Gen X, and Baby Boomers.

Video Ads: 11 Things Millennials Love, Hate & Want

Let’s start with some new data by video ad tech com­pa­ny Unruly that found 11 things that Mil­len­ni­als love, hate, and want from video ads. The data is derived from two sources: Unruly’s Future Video Sur­vey, which sur­veyed 3,200 inter­net users from the U.S., UK, Ger­many, Aus­tralia, Swe­den, France, Indone­sia, and Japan; and Unruly Pulse, which is pow­ered by the company’s first-par­ty data on emo­tion­al adver­tis­ing. Unruly found:

  1. Mil­len­ni­als are 112 per­cent more like­ly than the aver­age view­er to share the ads they like. Gen­er­at­ing a strong emo­tion­al respon­se will dri­ve video shar­ing, so test your cre­ative ear­ly to learn which emo­tions rise to the top – and amp those up. Then apply emo­tion­al tar­get­ing to deliv­er your ads to view­ers who will love it most!
  2. 93 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als say they’re con­sid­er­ing ad block­ing soft­ware. Turned off by the del­uge of poor qual­i­ty ads in their feeds, Mil­len­ni­als are turn­ing to ad block­ers to clean up their online expe­ri­ences. Tar­get­ing the­se audi­ences with rel­e­vant ads in user-friend­ly play­ers is cru­cial.
  3. 84 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als reg­u­lar­ly mute video ads. But this doesn’t mean they’re not pay­ing atten­tion! Fol­low this shift in user behav­ior and cre­ate ads that grab view­ers with com­pelling visu­als. Also con­sid­er adding text or closed cap­tions to make your ad rel­e­vant with or with­out sound.
  4. 74 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als lose trust in a brand if an ad feels fake. Adver­tis­ers need to be self-aware and ensure their mes­sages match the brand’s core val­ues. Smart adver­tis­ers don’t make claims that demon­strat­ed behav­ior, pro­duct expe­ri­ence, and press cov­er­age can’t sup­port.
  5. 74 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als watch videos on their lap­top. Mil­len­ni­als love their mobile devices, but when it comes to watch­ing video, they’re even­ly split across desk­top and mobile. Use a mul­ti-device dis­tri­b­u­tion strat­e­gy when tar­get­ing Mil­len­ni­als to match their nat­u­ral view­ing behav­ior.
  6. 63 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als demand more con­trol over their video adver­tis­ing expe­ri­ences. No one tells a Mil­len­ni­al what to do! Use ad for­mats that let Mil­len­ni­als ini­ti­ate, min­i­mize, pause, mute, and close video ads. Nev­er force the view and use crys­tal clear dis­clo­sure. Col­lab­o­ra­tive adver­tis­ing is about trust, not trick­ery.
  7. 59 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als think there are too many ads. This ad shock is dri­ving Mil­len­ni­als to ad block. And 49 per­cent are also sick of being shown the same ad over and over and 43 per­cent are “creeped out” by ads that fol­low them around the inter­net.
  8. Mil­len­ni­als are 27 per­cent more like­ly to feel hap­py and 25 per­cent more like­ly than the aver­age view­er to feel inspired by video ads. Gen­er­at­ing an emo­tion­al respon­se is key to trig­ger­ing engage­ment, shar­ing, and pur­chase intent. If the­se make sense for your brand, you’re ahead of the curve!
  9. Mil­len­ni­als are 23 per­cent more like­ly to enjoy rel­e­vant ads. Don’t assume all Mil­len­ni­als are the same. Use a mix of con­tex­tu­al, demo, psy­cho­graph­ic, and behav­ioral tar­get­ing to reach those most like­ly to find your ad use­ful and infor­ma­tive. Test­ing and tar­get­ing are key for this demo.
  10. Mil­len­ni­al men are the most emo­tion­al demo when watch­ing video ads. They over index again­st 7 emo­tion­al respons­es, includ­ing hap­pi­ness, arousal, pride and inspi­ra­tion, exhil­a­ra­tion, amaze­ment, knowl­edge and shock.
  11. Zeit­geist is the top rea­son mil­len­ni­als share videos. It gets Mil­len­ni­als shar­ing, so plan for water cool­er moments and use agile mar­ket­ing to hop on the trends that make sense for your brand through­out the year.

Millennial Men online video Millennial Women online video

8 Media Habits of Millennials

For a report enti­tled, “Peren­ni­al Mil­len­ni­al: A Viral Phe­nom­e­non,” L.E.K. Con­sult­ing con­duct­ed online research of 1,308 Mil­len­ni­als (peo­ple aged 16 to 34 in 2015) and 685 Non-mil­len­ni­als liv­ing across the UK. The research took place in Sep­tem­ber 2015. L.E.K. ana­lyzed UK Mil­len­ni­als’ media habits across six life stages, from liv­ing at home with par­ents all the way through to start­ing their own fam­i­lies. Here are eight things that L.E.K found:

  1. Mil­len­ni­als spend twice as much time as non-Mil­len­ni­als on new media, such as online video ser­vices (11 vs. 5 hours per week) and social media (7 vs. 3 hours per week). How­ev­er, tra­di­tion­al media such as TV, radio, and print rep­re­sents only 35 per­cent of total media con­sump­tion for Mil­len­ni­als vs. over 60 per­cent for non-Mil­len­ni­als.
  2. New media con­sump­tion remains sig­nif­i­cant­ly above non-Mil­len­ni­als for all Mil­len­ni­al life stages, albeit time spent on social media and music stream­ing is high­est for ear­lier life stage Mil­len­ni­als (at home and stu­dents). While Mil­len­ni­als’ use of tra­di­tion­al media is low­est for stu­dents and flat shar­ers, it remains sig­nif­i­cant­ly below non-Mil­len­ni­als even as they get their own place and have chil­dren.
  3. Online video con­sump­tion in aggre­gate remains high across all mil­len­ni­al life stages. How­ev­er, the mix changes. The use of free online video ser­vices such as YouTube is low­er for Mil­len­ni­als with kids than ear­lier life stage Mil­len­ni­als and their use of paid for online video ser­vices is high­er. How­ev­er, the con­sump­tion of tra­di­tion­al TV does not increase sig­nif­i­cant­ly for Mil­len­ni­als with fam­i­lies.
  4. The impor­tance of alter­na­tive social media plat­forms dif­fers between mil­len­ni­al life stages. Music stream­ing and social media are more impor­tant for ear­lier life stages. Face­book use is high across all life stages but the uptake of new­er plat­forms (e.g. Insta­gram and Snapchat) is sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er in the ear­lier life stage seg­ments.
  5. When asked which three media they would choose to take with them if strand­ed on a “desert island”, Mil­len­ni­als’ selec­tions are very dif­fer­ent to non-Mil­len­ni­als. The top three media for Mil­len­ni­als are social media, music, and sub­scrip­tion OTT video ser­vices while non-Mil­len­ni­als would pri­or­i­tize radio, free-to-air (FTA) and pay TV.
  6. Both Mil­len­ni­als and non-Mil­len­ni­als are decreas­ing their use of tra­di­tion­al media and shift­ing con­sump­tion to new media. How­ev­er, a larg­er pro­por­tion of Mil­len­ni­als state they have reduced the use of tra­di­tion­al media, in par­tic­u­lar for tra­di­tion­al TV.
  7. Mil­len­ni­als across all life stages have sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er adop­tion of online video sub­scrip­tion ser­vices: 38 per­cent for Mil­len­ni­als pre-fam­i­ly and 32 per­cent for Mil­len­ni­als with kids vs. 15 per­cent for non-Mil­len­ni­als. And 85 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als with OTT have Net­flix, 30 per­cent have Ama­zon and 12 per­cent have NowTV.
  8. The behav­ior of Mil­len­ni­als spreads to old­er gen­er­a­tions: from teenagers at home to their par­ents, wider fam­i­ly, and their net­works of friends. For exam­ple, adop­tion of sub­scrip­tion OTT by all non-Mil­len­ni­als is still below Mil­len­ni­als. But, uptake is sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er for non-Mil­len­ni­als with chil­dren at home com­pared to oth­er non-Mil­len­ni­als.

Millennial Video Consumption Behavior: 8 Findings

Watching video on mobile device

About a year ago, Ani­mo­to sur­veyed a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of U.S. adult con­sumers to learn about their per­cep­tion and expe­ri­ences with video mar­ket­ing as a pro­mo­tion­al medi­um. The web-based sur­vey was field­ed Feb­ru­ary 9–11, 2015 with a sam­ple size of 1,051 (Mar­gin of error +/- 3.1 per­cent at a 95 per­cent con­fi­dence lev­el). So, what do the 80 mil­lion U.S. Mil­len­ni­als, who will spend more than $200 bil­lion annu­al­ly start­ing in 2017, and $10 tril­lion in their life­times, love and hate about online video? Here are eight more things that Ani­mo­to found about mil­len­ni­als:

  1. 80 per­cent con­sid­er video con­tent when research­ing a pur­chase deci­sion.
  2. 76 per­cent fol­low com­pa­nies on YouTube.
  3. 70 per­cent are like­ly to watch a com­pa­ny video when shop­ping online.
  4. 62 per­cent of U.S. mil­len­ni­als prefer to watch a video from a com­pa­ny instead of read­ing text.
  5. 60 per­cent prefer to watch a com­pa­ny video over read­ing a com­pa­ny newslet­ter, but 53 per­cent are more like­ly to read a newslet­ter from a com­pa­ny if video is includ­ed.
  6. More than half are like­ly to watch a video from a brand if they receive it in an email.
  7. 48 per­cent only watch videos on their mobile device.
  8. 45 per­cent prefer to watch video on their mobile device rather than on a lap­top or desk­top.

2 Examples of Online Video Millennials Love & Hate

What oth­er things do Mil­len­ni­als love and hate about online video? Well, mil­len­ni­als are YouTube’s core (although by no means only) audi­ence. So, take the fol­low­ing two exam­ples with a grain of salt.

  1. The “Offi­cial Call of Duty: Infinite War­fare Reveal Trail­er” was pub­lished to YouTube on May 2. Although it has more than 16.4 mil­lion views, it also has over 1.6 mil­lion dis­likes, mak­ing it one of the most dis­liked YouTube videos ever.
  1. On the oth­er hand, the “Bat­tle­field 1 Offi­cial Reveal Trail­er” was pub­lished to YouTube on May 6. It now has almost 23.4 mil­lion views and close to 1.3 mil­lion likes, mak­ing it one of the most liked YouTube videos of all time.

Now, 33 per­cent of “YouTube Gamers” are over 34 years old. That’s accord­ing to Google, which recent­ly part­nered with Ipsos Medi­aCT to sur­vey a total of 4,803 par­tic­i­pants in the U.S., ages 18–54, out of whom 2,802 go online at least month­ly (aka “Gen­er­al Online Pop­u­la­tion”) and 2,001 go online at least month­ly and stat­ed that they watch gam­ing videos on YouTube at least month­ly (aka “YouTube Gamers”).

Greg Jarboe

Written by Greg Jarboe

President, SEO-PR

Greg Jarboe is President and co-founder of SEO-PR, an award-winning content marketing agency that was founded in 2003. He’s the author of YouTube and Video Marketing and also a contributor to The Art of SEO, Strategic Digital Marketing, Complete B2B Online Marketing, and Enchantment. He’s profiled in the book Online Marketing Heroes, a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and writes for Tubular Insights and The SEM Post. He’s an executive education instructor at the Rutgers Business School and the Video and Content Marketing faculty chair at Simplilearn.

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