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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Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is YOLO life...Don't be afraid to take a chance, to fail, and then try again.”—Female, 20, NY

Professional Millennials are turning to apps and loved ones for financial advice—but they still aren’t reaching their goals. A study by finance company SoFi found that 25-34-year-olds are most likely to turn to significant others as a resource for money matters, followed by family, then “nobody,” followed by financial advisors. Almost 40% are using apps and digital tools for personal finance a few times a month or more, but despite their efforts, 38.4% say they were less than successful in accomplishing financial goals last year—indicating that they could use more help. (SoFi

Netflix has turned itself into a must-have for TV viewers. Hub Entertainment Research recently asked U.S. consumers what TV sources they would keep if they could only have three, and found that 36% chose Netflix, followed by ABC at 20%, and then CBS at 18%. For 16-24-year-olds, Netflix is “even more indispensable,” with 56% choosing the streaming service as one of their three—almost three times more than their second choice, ABC at 19%. Our Binge Effect trend found that 64% of 13-33-year-olds are using Netflix the most for binge-watching content.  (Digital TV Europe

University students in the U.K. value good grades more than privacy. A new study from digital learning platform Kortext found that almost half of students agree they would get better grades if their lecturers were able to track their study habits and progress throughout the year, and a whopping nine out of ten would be happy to let their universities use analytics to track their weekly progress to achieve better marks. Growing up in the digital era has made younger consumers more open to sharing information than previous generations—which we covered in our The Privacy Issue trend. (Forbes)

Millennial-owned businesses are feeling really good about 2017. A recent Yelp survey revealed that the majority of businesses had a good 2016, with 68% saying their business performance met or exceeded their expectations. The majority of Millennial business owners felt the 2016 political climate benefit for their businesses, and they were more likely to say it had a positive effect than older respondents. They’re also expecting 69% more revenue growth than their older counterparts for 2017. (Small Business TrendsYelp)

Sesame Street’s Count von Count is a rare find—children are not hearing many foreign accents in their entertainment. An analysis of kids’ TV shows found that out of 282 characters, only 21 were foreign, and “in terms of personality traits, [the] foreign characters were more bad, aggressive and uncultured than non-foreign characters.” According to a Pew report, second generation immigrants make up 11% of the entire U.S. population, and our Diversity Tipping Point trend, revealed that 52% of 13-33-year-olds don’t feel entertainment media does a good job of representing minority groups. (The Guardian

Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is to improve my dog's confidence- She's somewhat fearful.”—Female, 28, PA

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