Where are Millennials Getting Their News?


Is your client targeting millennials using TV advertisements during daily news broadcasts? If so, their outreach attempt needs improvement. Despite this age group’s reputation for being glued to devices at all times, millennials spend less time consuming media than other adults on a daily basis. Two hours and 21 minutes less, to be exact. That gives advertisers eight hours and 45 minutes each day to reach millennials, according to a study by Nielsen. Are your clients making the most of that time?

Everyone likes to stay updated on the latest news. According to Nielsen, 90% of U.S. adults over the age of 38 get their news from the TV. Only 21% of adults between the ages of 21 and 37 claim the same. Instead, 88% are turning to digital media for the latest news updates. In fact, 36% of this age group only gets the news digitally, while 56% use a TV/​digital hybrid approach, and only 8% rely solely on the TV for news. Of that digital consumption, 45% is only accessed via mobile device, 10% is viewed only through desktop, and 43% is consumed through both.

Digital news is also more steadily consumed by millennials than TV news is. The monthly reach of digital news tends to average around 90%, and never drops below 80 percent. TV’s percentages, however, spike around breaking news times, such as elections, and then drops dramatically back down to around 60 percent.

As that data shows, while digital is the steadiest news format consumed by millennials, TV isn’t a format to give up on. Millennials still prefer TV when it comes to watching breaking news reports. Examples of breaking news events that Nielsen gives are Obama’s farewell address and the presidential inauguration in 2017. While digital news’ daily reach percentages remained fairly consistent during those times, TV news’ rating percentages shot way over digital’s.

So, encourage your clients to target their millennial customer-​base via digital news for the steadiest results. But, during times of frequent breaking news, have them switch up their strategy by adding millennial-​targeted commercials during TV news hours.

Check out AudienceSCAN by AdMall from SalesFuel to review news watchers/​readers’ profiles and learn about who watches news in specific formats and how they react to ads on those formats.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-​op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.