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Reaching Millennials on TV: Navigating Trends and Strategies for 2024

Updated: Dec. 06, 2023
Published: Dec. 05, 2023

Let's talk television advertising – that ever-shifting terrain where connecting with millennials is an art and a science. It's been a hot minute since our last dive into the millennial TV viewership stats, and, you guessed it, things have shifted. Brace yourself as we lay out the latest stats and strategies, giving you the insider scoop for your advertising ventures in 2024.

Social and Economic Trends Impacting Millennials

Understanding millennials is like deciphering a complex code. According to a recent study from Deloitte, these insights paint a vivid picture:

  • Work/Life Balance: 31% of millennials are currently reveling in a satisfying work/life balance, a notable increase from 18% in 2019.
  • Financial Concerns: The cost of living has taken center stage for 42% of millennials in 2023, compared to 36% in 2022.
  • Financial Strain: A significant 52% of millennials find themselves living paycheck to paycheck, highlighting the financial strains many face.
  • Side Gigs: The hustle is real, with 37% of millennials taking on side jobs for that extra financial cushion.
  • Remote Work Dynamics: Remote work has become ingrained in millennial life, with a staggering 75% considering a job change if forced back into a full-time office setting.

With this backdrop in mind, let's delve into the TV habits of millennials, exploring how these dynamics intersect with their viewing preferences.

How Millennials Engage with Connected TV (CTV) and Linear TV

US Connected TV Users, by Generation, 2020-2025

According to eMarketer, a formidable 61.5 million millennials have embraced the world of Connected TV (CTV). These digital natives are not just users; they're shaping the landscape, representing approximately half of all CTV viewers.

Share of US Connected TV users, by generation, 2020 - 2026
  • Millennials also constitute 27.2% share of all connected TV users in 2023, Millennials also boast the 2nd largest CTV user growth rates, with Millennials having increased by 3.3% in 2022, also according to eMarketer.
  • Despite the digital revolution, linear TV maintains its enduring appeal. As revealed by Morning Consult, 34% of millennials are loyal daily viewers of linear TV. The twist? A staggering 78% of daily TV consumers are juggling at least one video streaming subscription, showcasing the evolving TV consumption patterns.

TV+ Platform Insights:

Now, let's unveil Simulmedia's TV+ platform, a TV analytics powerhouse. At its core is the TV+ Viewership Graph, seamlessly integrating billions of signals from linear, streaming, and future walled gardens. Processing over 2B daily events across 100M+ households, TV+ boasts one of the industry's largest datasets. With integrations with the top OEM and data partners, it provides a comprehensive understanding of viewership behavior. Privacy is paramount, with pseudonymized data and meticulous calibration. Armed with insights from the TV+ Viewership Graph, let's uncover where millennials are tuning in.

Total linear vs streaming millennial households

With regards to TV households, 21.4 million millennials still find value in linear TV, dedicating a considerable portion of their viewing time to traditional broadcasts. Simultaneously, 26.8 million have embraced the allure of Connected TV, signaling a shift towards digital platforms. It's important to note that these numbers aren't mutually exclusive; many millennial households seamlessly integrate both linear and Connected TV into their viewing habits.

Cross-channel millennial household distribution
  • The distribution of cross-channel households among millennials paints a diverse picture of their viewing habits. While 14% of millennial households exclusively adhere to linear TV, cherishing the traditional viewing experience, a significant 31% have fully embraced the digital realm of Connected TV. The majority, a substantial 55%, represent the versatile viewership of millennials, seamlessly integrating both linear and Connected TV into their entertainment repertoire. This intricate blend underscores the importance of a comprehensive advertising strategy that caters to the varied preferences within the millennial demographic landscape.
Ad-supported daily viewing time for millennials

Millennials spend an average of 3 hours and 38 minutes on ad-supported TV daily. The lion's share, approximately 78% (or 170 minutes), is dedicated to linear TV, while the remaining 22% (about 48 minutes) ventures into ad-supported streaming realms. This may seem counterintuitive considering how much time people are spending on connected TV, but remember that most connected TV consumption still occurs in ad-free environments. The stats above isolate the share of ad-supported connected TV viewing.

Budget Strategies for Effective TV Advertising

Let's craft strategies to powerfully engage millennials on both linear TV and CTV, leveraging insights from our TV+ platform. In a hypothetical $1 million budget scenario (note: allocations may vary based on budget size), the message is clear: a 'Cross-Channel Charm' approach, with 35% in linear TV and 65% in CTV, steals the spotlight.

  • Hypothetical $1M Scenario:
    • Cross-Channel Charm: The winning strategy! Allocating 35% to linear TV and 65% to CTV ensures a potent reach of 16.1 million millennials.
    • Linear TV Focus: Exclusive focus on linear TV (100%) taps into 9.21 million millennials, falling short of the broader impact.
    • CTV Embrace: Putting the entire budget into CTV alone captures 12.1 million millennials, but the magic lies in the balanced blend.
Reach optimization insights for millennials

The takeaway is crystal clear: Cross-Channel stands as the superior approach for optimal reach and impact across the diverse TV landscape

Reaching More Millennials Requires Technology

Simulmedia’s platform is the key to unlocking a more nuanced approach to millennial targeting. Unlike basic demographic targeting, which tends to be overly broad, our platform encourages advertisers to delve deep into defining their strategic audience. This means going beyond age and gender, exploring factors such as income, household size, education level, affinities, hobbies, interests, ownership, lifestyle, purchase behavior, brand propensities, habits, and life events.

In the complex landscape of millennial viewing behavior, relying on age/gender demos is outdated. Simply put, not all Millennials are created equal, and treating them as such is a missed opportunity. By targeting individual behaviors and preferences, marketers not only reach more of their intended audience but also tap into the seemingly elusive age group powering the nation's economic engine.

Simulmedia’s platform empowers advertisers to navigate this intricate landscape efficiently. It's not just about driving the lowest CPMs; it's about steering towards the lowest cost-per-reach for true efficiency. If your goal is to reach the one group with the most collective spending power in the United States, then defining and targeting your strategic audience with precision is the way forward.

Contrary to popular belief, Millennials are avid TV consumers, but reaching them effectively demands a shift in media buying strategy. Our platform provides a solution by marrying multiple 3rd party data sets or leveraging your brand’s proprietary 1st party data to match customer attributes with viewing data from millions of households. This process enables our platform to understand the viewing behaviors of your target audience and employ a patented predictive algorithm to forecast their preferences throughout a campaign.

Unlike traditional media buying, which often relies on age/gender demos and fails to comprehend the composition of delivered GRPs, our platform crafts a media plan tailored to individual preferences. It's not about delivering thousands of linear TV spots across networks; it's about striking deals with 100+ streaming apps, ensuring your strategic audience is reached efficiently and with maximum impact.

In a world where targeted CPMs may be higher, the value lies in reaching a more responsive audience and reducing wasteful impressions. Simulmedia’s platform revolutionizes advertising by recognizing that true efficiency in today's diverse media landscape is achieved by targeting strategic audiences effectively. Contact us to explore how we can elevate your reach to the ever-powerful millennial demographic while minimizing media waste and maximizing impact.