Millennials love print

Published 11 May 2018
Take a walk around any city and you can't avoid seeing smartphones everywhere. Especially millennials, the generation born between 1980 and the mid-1990s or early 2000s, seem to have these devices glued to their hand. However, appearance may be deceiving. The Print Power magazine article The young and the restless reveals that the digital-minded millennials are actually just as keen on print as the generations before them.
According to GlobalWebIndex 2016, 40 per cent of the people who are 24 years old or younger purposely switch off the Internet to have a break from the digital world from time to time. Also, contrary to the general belief, millennials are almost just like their parents when it comes to reading printed products, such as magazines or books. In fact, 72 per cent of European millennials read print products on a typical day. The difference between millennials and previous generations is slim: 73 per cent of their parents, the so-called Gen-Xers, and 71 per cent of their grandparents, the baby boomers, read print daily.

Everybody mixes and matches

Print and digital tools don't exclude each other. Instead, millennials use digital channels to keep up with news and get information faster. However, when wanting to digest something slowly and carefully – and in a memorable way – even millennials choose print.

A study on advertising conducted by Kantar Millward Brown also suggests that print is the tool to choose when wanting to make a more lasting impression. In the study, millennials preferred print advertising to other format options. Print also generated more emotionally vivid memories than digital advertising.

However, it isn't only millennials who mix and match print and digital channels. The University of Bath found that readers in every generation consume content in five different modes: Fix, Track, Fill, Indulge and Invest. The three first modes, Fix (content constantly accessed), Track (keeping up with news) and Fill (accessing content to pass the time), focus on staying constantly informed or entertained and are more digi-centric. The last two, Indulge (content as a break) and Invest (getting an indepth perspective), are activities where content is often consumed in a printed form.

Based on recent research, print and digital channels are both here to stay and live peacefully side by side.

Source: Rebecca Waller-Davies: The young and the restless, Print Power, September 13, 2017

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