MTV Insights Study Reveals Habits of Younger Millennials
Younger Millennials prefer baking to cooking, enjoy selectively unplugging from the frenetic digital world on occasion and feel the need to specialize in order to set themselves apart from their peers, according to MTV’s just-released study on 13-17-year-olds, “The New Millennials Will Keep Calm and Carry On.” Given that this new generation will eventually become MTV’s sweet spot, the network is looking ahead.
Though generalizing an entire generation is tricky business, the study offers some interesting contrasts with older Millennials—those who currently fall within the network’s key demo of 18-25—which were backed up by a panel of tweens summoned to Viacom’s NYC headquarters Tuesday morning. MTV Insights surveyed 1,800 young Millennials, 700 older Millennials, 300 Gen Xers and 300 Boomers. Here are a few highlights:
More than 75% of younger Millennials (YMs) said they worry about the economy and their future and 60% feel stressed about getting in to college. A 13-year-old panelist noted that her guidance counselors are urging students to theme their resumes in order to truly make them stand out.
About 80% of YMs agreed that they like to “unplug” from technology sometimes and that doing one thing at a time helps them relieve stress. Multitasking is natural to them, but "mono-tasking" can serve as a relief. The panelists agreed that focusing one task, like baking or some hobby they feel they’re an expert in, helps them relax and de-stress.
84% of YMs love being an expert at things, and most of them have taken it upon themselves to learn things online, particularly from YouTube. Panelists’ hobbies ranged from creating vampire stakes (inspired by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which was likely created before said panelist was even born) to claymation art to creating a cappella music tracks with beats produced from objects around her home—like heavy textbooks.
70% of YMs say they have the freedom to explore whatever they want to online, but more than 70% say they filter out violence and cruel videos. Wikipedia was popular across the board. There’s even a Wikipedia “hunt” of sorts that takes you through clicking links on pages, they explained.
All panelists agreed that they are inspired to create their own content online because they enjoy getting followers. “You always want more,” one tween said. And they also noted that tagging their online content is standard; it’s the ideal way for people to discover your content.
So how about their TV habits? When questioned, most preferred binge TV viewing, on Netflix and Hulu, to actually watching linear TV—except one boy, who admitted his dad is “old-fashioned” and likes to watch movies on Cinemax. So he joins in to watch with him. “I don’t think I’ve watched a show on actual television,” said the 13-year-old girl. Interestingly, she’s obsessed with the soap “Days of Our Lives,” which she’s actually never even seen. The fact that a show ran for 48 years is fascinating to her. “I’m obsessed with all the awards it got,” she said, “and all the actors.”
Another tween expressed disdain for appointment viewing. “I have a busy life,” she said. All agreed that waiting for OTT platforms to have entire seasons was the way to go. In the meantime, they concentrate on avoiding online platforms with TV spoilers, a mission that puts Reddit, which includes spoiler alerts, in their favor.