Millennials or Generation Y are generally defined as those currently between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four. In the US alone, it is estimated that there are 80 million of them, and according to Pew Research Center, this means that this year they are expected to surpass Baby Boomers as the largest population segment. Despite the stereotype that these tattooed app downloaders are still living in their parent’s basements while underemployed, they are expected to have the highest spending power in the country by the year 2017. Having grown up with the Internet and social sharing, and with over four out of five sleeping with or next to their cell phones, one would assume that their consumption of news does not include print. But, research shows that this generation is actually print’s fastest growing market. Millennials generally do not watch network television (and therefore commercials) and are immune to digital advertising. They are skeptical of its message, and don’t pay attention to it. But, according to an article published by RealMatch, a company that helps digital publishers generate revenue with recruitment advertising, print newspapers and magazines are being embraced by younger generations. It is not just older audiences that are keeping the medium afloat. The reasons they mention are paraphrased below:
- Newspapers are trustworthy, inspiring and engaging.
- Millennialsbelieve print newspapers are ethical, better their lives, improve their interactions with others, and are a form of media they can go to when they have “me time.”
- It offers a nice vacation from smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. The tactile component offers a novel experience.
- It offers something unique to the reader – like listening to music on vinyl records.
- There is a sort of intellectual cool factor associated with it.
- They see print ads as a natural part of print media and reported higher numbers for newspaper ad engagement than any other type of media.
Another article published by Forbes about traits that millennial customers share also mentions the generation’s search for truth. “They [millennials] also care about what’s genuine and authentic. This interest falls somewhere between a purely aesthetic preference and a search for honesty, for truth. And it’s a powerful force for motivating millennial customers.” In order to reach and be embraced by millennial customers, brands would be wise to add or keep print advertising in their marketing mix.