The Media Stream: Millennials Are Device Agnostic

Ikea announced yesterday that it’s going to be selling Internet-connected HDTVs that integrate seamlessly into its furniture products. No more cords, and no more periphery devices — instead the TV is loaded with apps and the DVD/Blu-Ray player is integrated into a TV stand cabinet. TechCrunch gives the Uppleva system bonus points because it treats the TV like what it has become, “a glorified monitor.” We can’t help but agree; TVs are simply one of many devices people can use to access a media stream, whether it comes from a cable, an external device, or the Internet.

Millennials are far less interested in traditional television than previous generations. While the TV is the focus of Boomers’ family rooms, only 28% of Millennials agree that they couldn’t live without TV, according to recent Ypulse research. In fact, half of Millennials say they only watch TV when they’re bored.

But clearly Millennials enjoy entertainment and video. The difference is that they’re device agnostic. In a typical week, Millennials over age 18 most commonly watch TV shows on a TV (66%), but 59% also watch TV shows streamed to their computer and 24% watch on a mobile device.

They don’t care much about the screen, so long as there’s a way for them to watch what they want when they want to watch it. They aren’t going to rapidly ditch TVs in favor of watching shows only on their laptops or tablets, but they are going to expect that the next TV they buy will allow them to watch all their favorite shows wherever they may find them — regardless if that’s on cable, Hulu, Netflix, a broadcast network’s website, or some new app or website that’s yet to be invented.

Moreover, like their computers and phones, their TV sets are going to be multimedia hubs. They’ll expect to be able to stream music from Pandora,…


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Quote of the Day: "I want to be able to have, and provide for, a family in the next 3-4 years.” –Male, 20, NC

The gambling industry is (still) trying to figure out Millennials. While young travellers do seem to like Vegas, they’re not interested in playing slots, and more of their money and attention is going to technically non-gambling activities like fantasy sports. Some casinos are trying out skill-based machines that feel more like video games. According to the CEO of the Global Gaming Association “It's going to be a lot about throwing things up on the wall and seeing what sticks." (CNBC)

Digital natives have naturally integrated tech into their relationships, and teens are using texting and online flirting as a way of “dipping a toe in the ocean of romantic possibility.” But at the same time, in-person interactions remain important: 50% have flirted by friending someone on social media, while 55% have flirted by talking to their romantic interest in person. (The Atlantic)

Evidence that food is the new status symbol continues to mount. New research from Good Food magazine found that 16-24-year-olds in the UK spend more on food than any other age group, with much of that splurging spent on takeout. These young consumers are also spending more on brunch and other restaurant visits than older diners. (Vice Munchies)

Television has traditionally been relatively isolating, especially as an influx of content has made it less likely that everyone is watching the same show at the same time and time shifting has threatened the water cooler moment. But social media is making TV a communal experience again, as actors, writers, and the audience react to episodes in real time together. Social media activity is also an indication of a show’s popularity: Twitter and Nielsen have found that there is a connection between tweet volume and the size of the viewing audience. (NYTimes)

Exercise might seriously improve the mental health of bullied teens. A study from the University of Vermont found a 23% decrease in suicidal thoughts and attempts among bullied students who exercised four or more days a week. While the study doesn’t necessarily prove that exercise reduces sadness and suicidal tendencies, it is “an important first step” in connecting the two. (Common Health)

Quote of the Day: “I don't have kids, so my financial goal is to save the money I need to take the trips I want to take.” –Female, 25, FL

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