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The Race for Millennials’ Eyeballs

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The millennial generation – young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 – is an increasingly important audience for digital brands, and those who ignore this group’s behaviors and trends going forward may need to count themselves out of the race.

What race, you ask? The race for millennials’ eyeballs (i.e. their attention).

Why You Should Care about Millennials

According to comScore’s 2015 Global Mobile Report, digital media users in the U.S. are spending 61 percent of their digital time on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) compared to 39 percent on desktops.

Of those users, U.S. millennials spend 88.6 digital hours each month on mobile devices and 39.1 hours on desktops.

Comparatively, users who are 35 years and older spend 60.7 digital hours each month on mobile compared to 44.4 hours on desktops.

Millennial Digital Media Hours by Device

That means a typical millennial user is spending nearly 3 hours a day on digital media. Clearly, this is a large window of time to capture the attention of millennials on the devices they most frequently utilize.

This brings up another important piece of data from the same comScore report: Smartphones are driving 61 percent of the time that millennials spend on digital media.

Smartphones account for 50 percent of digital time spent amongst users ages 35-54, and 30 percent of digital time spent amongst users ages 55 and older. This signals to digital brands that millennials are the most on-the-go segment of all audiences, with most of their digital time spent on mobile devices – particularly smartphones.

Where are Millennials Spending their Digital Time?

If millennials are spending nearly three hours a day on smartphone-based digital media, then what exactly are they doing? Where are these eyeballs that we are chasing?

The comScore 2015 Global Mobile Report found that most mobile usage occurs on smartphone apps, which shows engagement levels have already surpassed that of desktop apps (in the U.S.).

Of those apps, entertainment and social media lead the way for digital consumption with 23 and 21 percent (respectively) of digital time spent in the U.S.

Digital Time Spent on Mobile Media

While these specific figures include the millennial, 35-54, and 55+ audiences, we know that millennials make up the highest portion of smartphone users. We can assume that smartphone apps make up a large portion of the digital time that millennials spend on their smartphone devices.

What Does this Mean for Digital Brands?

For digital brands with a U.S. presence, marketing may need to be built around not only mobile considerations but also millennial influence. With the most digital time spent on smartphone apps – specifically social media and entertainment – brands may need to drive more marketing resources where the greatest shift is happening right now. Addressing these shifts can give digital brands a competitive edge on the most widely used devices and the most engaging types of media.

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