My teenagers may not have a clue who Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore, or Benedict Cumberbatch are – all nominees for 2015 Oscars in a leading role – but give them a name like Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, and watch their eyes light up. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, aka online persona PewDiePie, is a Swedish online gamer who has the highest level of subscribers of any YouTube channel ever. With over 34 million subscribers and over 7.9 billion video views, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is a YouTube celebrity! This is the changing world of Millennials.
Millennials, also known as the Millennial Generation, are born between the early 1980s to the late 1990s, generally making their age range today to be between 16 to 35 years.
I recently had the pleasure of having lunch with Rania Succar, Head of North America Brand Solutions at Google, leading the market strategy and product commercialization for YouTube in North America. Rania spoke about Millennials and how they are the main drivers of change in media consumption. “This is a generation of content creators – which is precisely why YouTube is so successful in capturing this audience.” YouTube’s ease of use, large database of video content, and free price tag for usage are key success factors for drawing in Millennials. They feel that it is empowering to have a tool at their fingertips that they can use to broadcast a message, influence people, or just make people laugh.
For Millennials, YouTube is currently the dominant video platform; 98% of this age group reported watching videos on their mobile phone on a daily basis. This is an astounding 42% higher than on computers and 17% higher than on TV. This ranges from cat videos, to news and entertainment, to just about anything you can search for. Among the Millennial Generation, YouTube is also becoming more and more interactive; 9% share or comment on videos each month. As one Millennial put it, “It makes for a better entertainment experience.”
All of this points to a marketer’s dream! It’s no surprise that Millennials rely on YouTube for purchasing decisions – it has become their top destination for learning about products and services. Here are just two examples:
- 66% of beauty product purchasers say that YouTube influenced their purchases by helping them “visualize how products fit into their lives.”
- 62% of smart phone purchasers indicated that YouTube influenced their purchase with reviews and how-to videos.
I personally tend to skip online videos and go straight for the text – which is a good indication that I’m way past the 16-35 age group demographics. Hmmm, perhaps I should review the next anti-aging product on YouTube.