The Subscription Services Millennials Are Actually Paying For

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

We asked 18-35-year-olds which subscription services they’re actually paying for, from magazines to meal kits and more...

For the generation famously known for wanting everything when and where they want it, getting things on-demand has become routine for young consumers. Whether beauty products, organic meals, the latest TV series, or a ride to the airport, Millennials are indulging their growing impatience and penchant for convenience by buying into the booming on-demand economy, which is now attracting more than 22.4 million consumers annually and $57.6 billion in spending, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Millennials make up nearly half of these consumers, and brands are jumping on board by serving almost everything up in an on-demand package–and adding a "subscribe" button to keep them coming back. Netflix and Uber were front runners in the trend, but when Birchbox hit the scene, a whole new type of shopping was born that hit all the Millennial marks: time-efficiency, personalization, convenience, and slashed prices. Now, the world is on-demand, and Millennials are willing to pay for it. A full 92% of Millennials have active subscription services, according to a recent survey conducted by Vantiv and Socratic Technologies.

But this growing trend is a double-edged sword. While brands like Blue Apron and Dollar Shave Club are increasingly showing up on Millennials’ doorsteps (and spawning copycats), traditional subscriptions and memberships are joining the what-Millennials-killed list. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are falling rapidly across the board, but our data shows no significant change since this summer. 

So what services are winning with Millennials? In our recent monthly survey, we asked 18-35-year-olds to tell us what subscription services they’re…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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