Making Sense of Millennials
Millennials are broadly defined as anyone born between 1981 and 2000, and while there is a different daily reality between a 15 year old and a 34 year old, this “category” currently accounts for one-third of the global population and is projected to comprise 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2030.
Some argue the Millennials are a generation that has grown up at the center of attention with their parents orbiting around them with a perpetual safety net, being told they can be anything they want to be, being awarded a ribbon for coming in 8th place.
Anne Hubert, Senior Vice President at Viacom and Head of Scratch, the company’s “creative SWAT team”, commissioned a four-year study of industry disruption by Millennials. The study includes responses from 20,000 people about 125 brands spanning 25 industries. “It revealed two factors that matter when it comes to disruption: how different you are and how loved you are”.
The openness of the Millennials is having an enormous impact, creating opportunities for start-ups and insurgents and threatening the positions of both cosy oligopolies and incumbents. Some industries have already seen clear winners, which have pulled away from their competitors and gained the love of millennial consumers. Examples include on-line search, sports apparel and mobile technology. Other industries are most at risk for disruption by this generation.
Netflix, which officially launched its Australian service in March 2015, reports a 65.5m global customer base and is now seen as the undisputed leader in the “streaming” category. This disintermediation was touched on in a recent PWC report on the media industry. By 2019, it was forecast that over half of Australia’s total advertising expenditure will be directed to online content providers, with free-to-air television expected to suffer the most, dropping to 28 per cent from the current 30 per cent.