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Millennials on Millennials: Lots of love, lack of loyalty

| Research tools

Millennials are often the most stereotyped, yet coveted, group for marketers. The second-largest generation group in the U.S. has now “grown up,” and its consumers have disposable incomes. This provides a plethora of opportunities for advertisers and marketers who are so eager to reach them, as Millennials are highly engaged, using multiple platforms for many hours on a daily basis.

Volume II of Nielsen’s Millennials on Millenials report series offers critical insight into Millennials influence and engagement. The report is unique in that it was produced and researched by a team of Nielsen Millennial associates, utilizing their everyday experiences as they compiled data and insights about the lifestyles of their peers—who are often the first to recognize emerging trends, technologies and cultural phenomena. Nielsen Millennial associates have the unique ability to leverage this data to discover ways to reach their own generation.

Within a fragmented media landscape, the myriad forms of engagement are as varied as the personalities that use them. So what drives Millennial media involvement when it comes to music streaming?

Millenials are active listeners of music streaming services and are 21% more likely to frequently choose songs than to let the music play without making changes. They also access digital music more regularly than consumers 35 and older. While Millennials are active listeners, they’re 18% more likely to use multiple music apps on a monthly basis. In fact, nearly 60% of Millennials use two or more apps for streaming, compared with only 39% of consumers aged 35 and up.

The recent report also sets the record straight on the frequent misconception that digital music has replaced radio for this generation. In actuality, broadcast radio penetration has remained steady in recent years. Notably, while digital radio reach has increased steadily over the past five years, Nielsen’s Total Audience Report highlights that tune-in across traditional AM/FM radio remains consistent, as 93% of Millennials listen each week.

Millennials Using Multiple Apps for Streaming

Podcasts are also popular, and Millennials are no slouch when it comes to their listening habits. Thirty-seven percent of Millennials reported listening to podcasts at least once a week, which encompasses daily use. Additionally, persons 18-34 are almost three times more likely to listen to podcasts daily.

Millennials Frequency of Listening to Podcasts

When it comes to social communication platforms, they reach more Millennials than 35+ and at a higher frequency per month. While those 35+ often use digital messaging for one to one communications and are more likely to engage in plain text messaging, Millennials are more likely to message in groups or send videos or photos. Similar to music behavior, Millennials are less likely to use just one digital communication service. And 70% of Millennials use two or more apps for messaging.


When comparing text messaging to video or photo messaging, Millennials are much more likely to engage with one another visually. They have moved away from plain text messages, which is how persons 35+ are connecting, to preferring group communication using visual messages.

Millennials and Messaging App Usage

It’s abundantly clear that Millennials approach digital content consumption differently from the rest of the population. More specifically, Millennials are an unfocused audience, not particularly loyal to just one digital music or communication service. But this doesn’t mean Millennials are consuming less content. This demographic is engaged with digital services during all waking hours of the day and while there are plenty of digital services from which to choose, Millennials are not choosing either/or, but many, and the opportunities are endless for how marketers and advertisers will capitalize on the plethora of their usage behaviors.

For additional insight, download the lite version of Nielsen’s second Millennials on Millenials report.
For additional information about our Millennials on Millennials series, click here.


The Millennials on Millennials Report is led by Nielsen Millennial associates and analyzes the unique nature of this demographic group by leveraging Nielsen data-sets and fielding a custom survey to understand the “why’s” behind the data trends. The report includes data from Nielsen Custom Survey, Nielsen Total Media Fusion, Nielsen Music 360 Report, PPM & RADAR, and Nielsen Electronic Mobile Measurement Panel. In this report, Nielsen defines Millennials as persons 18-34. In future volumes of the report, Millennials will be defined as persons 21-36.

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