ABC Family Stars Discuss Reaching Millennial Viewers And The Evolving Relationship With Fans

Ask most female Millennials about their favorite TV channels and ABC Family will likely top their list. According to Ypulse research, it’s the most popular network among Gen Y. Fully 63% of high school girls say they tune into the network regularly, as do 47% of college age females. These stats should come as no surprise considering that the channel has captivating yet relatable programming, and it consistently attracts teens as well as twentysomethings. ABC Family also understands the evolving needs of fans and not only how to reach young viewers, but also how to interact with them.

We attended the network’s 25 Days of Christmas Winter Wonderland event this past weekend where its success in marketing to Millennials became especially clear. We chatted with the channels’ stars about how their respective shows reach Gen Y and how their personal relationships with fans via social media is changing the traditional nature of television viewing.

Social media supports fandom, providing viewers with an extension of a show and its stars.

ABC FamilyABC Family’s hit show “Pretty Little Liars” is groundbreaking in terms of its social media success, with the finale for its latest season generating the most social buzz in the history of TV. Gen Y is dominating the social space, and Twitter and Facebook are a key part of how they consume content. They’re engrossed in social media to find out more about their favorite shows, stay updated on its stars, and feel part of a community of fans who rally around a show, even during the off-season. Social media is supporting the ever-evolving fandom among young viewers and ABC Family taps into this trend.

Several of the networks’ stars weighed in on the importance of social media and how it’s impacting their relationship with fans. Alexandra Chando of “The Lying…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I think one of the coolest devices is actually the film camera because it kind of brings you back to another time. There's also a different kind of quality to the film camera.” -Female, 21, TN

Millennials covet discovering something new, and Atlas Obscura, a travel and discovery media company, is keeping that in mind as they target those members of the generation with an “insatiable curiosity and adventurous spirit.” The site’s more niche, obscure, yet intriguing content, like “Touring the Tombs” and “Nine Amazing Takes on Treehouses,” sets it apart from other Millennial-focused publishing platforms. With $2 million in funding, it now plans to expand from user-generated travel topics to areas like food and history. The company’s popular real-life events also make it more appealing to younger consumers, who are looking for something unique to do in the offline world. (DigidayAtlas Obscura)

America’s sweet tooth isn’t as big as it used to be, and younger diners are even less likely to indulge in desserts. A recent report found that only 12% of dinners eaten at home include a dessert, which is down from 15% 10 years ago, and only 9% of 18-34-year-olds are eating dessert with dinner, compared to 19% of those 55 and up. More healthful eating could be hampering dessert’s position at the dinner table, and a December 2014 Ypulse monthly survey found that 49% of Millennials consider nutritional information when grocery shopping. (USA Today)

To effectively sell kids’ products and content, understanding the new generation of parents is essential, and Millennials are becoming the influential parenting majority. A “Proprietary Survey of Moms” states that Millennial parents and their children are accustomed to being “hyper connected, with on demand content available with the ‘swipe’ of a finger and a mobile device.” This generation of families also seems to love products that have a link to the content they watch. It’s estimated that between 25% and 50% of toy purchases in the U.S. are now related to entertainment franchises, and 90% of moms say they bought a toy linked to one of the big movies of 2014: Frozen, Lego, Marvel, Transformers. (Quartz)

As young consumers shift the dining industry with their unique expectations, tastes, and increasing spending power, major food brands are doing everything they can think of to appeal to them—and some might not quite hit the mark. A collection of marketing and rebranding strategies that chains and brands have employed to lure Millennial customers includes redesigning to become “a chill place to be chill at,” changing to pouch packaging, calling food “artisanal,” and embracing selfie campaigns. Adding kale and, of course, sriracha everything to menu items have been common tactics to attract them as well. (Eater)

While kids of all ages are watching TV, the way they watch shifts significantly over time. Nielsen’s Total Audience Report 2015 reveals that the number of hours spent watching TV in an average week decreases as young viewers get older. The youngest viewing age group also watches far more content on their computers, with 2-11-year-olds watching almost five hours of content via computer and 18-to-24-year-olds spending 19 minutes of their average weekly viewing time the same way. However, general “web surfing” on a desktop increases as young consumers go from pre-school to high school. (Adweek)

We give you a dose of Millennial insight on a daily basis, but every quarter, we zoom our lens out to look at some of the larger trends happening within the generation—and why they matter to brands. Our Gold subscribers have access to the Ypulse Quarterly report, an in-the-know guide to Millennials that synthesizes the major trends and stats we’ve seen over the last quarter of the year. We take a close look at the "why behind the what" of big trends and provide in-action examples and supportive data, along with implications for you to take away. (Ypulse)

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