Special Report: CYNOPSIS MEDIA PRESENTS: Millennials 10/16/14


Music Choice is the #1 free VOD network.

1. Music Choice
2. Cartoon Network
3. Nickelodeon
4. ABC Network
5. CBS Network

With more than 2x the views of any other network,
see how
Music Choice can help you reach an engaged, active audience.
Source: Rentrak OnDemand Essentials, July 2014. Ranked on Transactions. Excludes non-participating networks.


On Everywhere and All the Time: Keeping up with the Millennials

By Meredith Obendorfer

Beyond the words "hashtag," "selfie," and "buzzkill," the millennial generation’s love of and ease with technology has also given birth to another term: "Digital Natives." The phrase refers to those born between 1980 and roughly 2004, who are the first to grow up with the Internet already in existence, and who are inherently comfortable creating, consuming, and sharing digital content beyond the TV screen.

According to a report from the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors, millennials are now the largest demographic group in America. With a population of approximately 75 million, they comprise roughly one-third of the general U.S. population. There are also now more 22-year-olds in America than any other age, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

With numbers like these, of course, money follows. Millennials’ current buying power of $200 billion annually may seem minor (no pun intended) in comparison to that of "boomers," the 50+ year olds who spend somewhere between $3 trillion and $7 trillion a year and control 70 percent of the total net worth of American households. However, with the oldest of Digital Natives now entering their 30’s and beginning to find their financial footing, their economic impact has yet to be truly felt. And that means that brands are eager to gain millennials’ long-term loyalty  and in turn, smart networks are developing programming to capture brands’ attention.

Jake Katz, vice president of Audience Insights & Strategy for REVOLT, the music cable network founded by Sean Combs, sums up the opportunity: "Understanding the first generation native to technology – the Millennial generation – is an exercise in planning a brand’s future. It’s also an investment in building loyalty."

Here’s how networks are reaching and retaining this critical demo:


"Millennials are self-proclaimed multi-taskers, so keeping their attention is important," notes Christina Tancredi, COO of Music Choice, the multi-platform video and music network. To that end, Music Choice keeps pace by creating programs on a multitude of media properties, while maintaining the television screen as its primary viewer destination. The millennial demographic sees "nothing intrusive about [using] mobile and TV at the same time," Tancredi notes. She’s right: A whopping 92-percent of U.S.-based millennials use a "connection device" while simultaneously watching TV, according to a June 2014 study by online video ad company Yume and Nielsen. 

That’s why Music Choice partnered with YouTube’s Bart Baker, the "Music Video Parody King," who’s an influencer among 20-somethings for his humorous take on pop music. Taking advantage of Baker’s four-plus million YT followers, Music Choice worked with Baker to create original programming that appeared on MC channels.

The happy result was that once the audience interacted with Music Choice as a result of the Baker promo, "they stuck with us," Tancredi says. "Bart Baker is MC Plays’ highest-rated original program premiere, ever," which demonstrates this generation’s loyalty to a brand, regardless of platform.

Likewise, Katz of REVOLT says, "We have found that creating online video that this audience will stumble into when they’re in ‘research mode’ on YouTube is a phenomenal way to reach the younger generation."


Music Choice’s MC 100 blows up the end of year list.

We love making lists. So instead of just counting down the
top 100 songs of the year, we’re having a little fun with it.

We’ve got the Best Videos for Your Bae (that’s slang for baby), the Hottest Twerks (yup, there’s more than one),
and the Top Viral Outbreaks (that’s viral videos, not the other kind of viral) – and so much more.

Look for the MC 100 on Music Choice this October 
and see why
Music Choice should be on your list.


To capitalize on millennials’ propensity to interact with content wherever it may be, The CW Network created a digital studio-CW Seed-which has "about a dozen projects in the works or online," according to a CW Network executive.

One such endeavor is Play It Again, Dick, a digital series based on its show Veronica Mars, starring one of the VM characters, played by favorite Ryan Hansen. The network also produced another web series, Husbands, a comedy about the topic of marriage equality that premiered on Blip, YouTube, and Roku. The series won a number of web TV awards, and currently has more than 3.2 million total views on YouTube.

MTV, too, introduced an in-house studio in January 2013 called MTV Other that aims to produce short-form programming for MTVOther.com and a mobile app. With a tagline of "Short Shows, Random Weirdness," MTV is looking to connect with millennials by way of "loud, funny and weird ideas," Colin Helms, senior VP-connected content group at MTV, told AdAge.


Any conversation about reaching millennials, naturally, has to include clear social and mobile strategies. "From investing in technology that will allow our audience to ‘go live’ via their smartphone straight to the TV channel, to live streaming our REVOLT Music Conference to mobile devices, we know mobile is an increasingly important experience for any brand or network targeting Millennial consumers," comments Katz.

Other nets see mobile and social as going hand-in-hand, with several kicking off promotions on Instagram and Snapchat,  two apps that are solely mobile-based. USA Networks hosted a "first-of-its kind activation" with Snapchat through a scavenger hunt at Comic-Con in San Diego during the convention in July 2014. Using the hashtag #DIGDeeper, fans were invited to hunt for the DIG symbol in San Diego’s Gas Lamp district. The most engaged participants won a meeting with DIG’s executive producer.


Now playing on Music Choice: anything you want

Music Choice offers 50 channels of uninterrupted music in every genre,
and our audience keeps growing: 57 million monthly viewers
watch 25 hours per week, and 73% watch with someone else.

During the holidays, our Sounds of the Seasons channel
is the place to be – viewing spiked 47% in ’13.

Reach your target demo with MC’s Music Channels.
Sources: Ipsos OTX MediaCT, MC Viewer Study, SPR14. Rentrak TV Essentials, Network Summary, Total Day 4Q13 vs 4Q12.


Coming of age in an environment that allows for music, movies or information to be summoned at the click of a button on any device has given millennials an expectation of power. To tap into that desire, Music Choice Play – a service through which an audience can vote on what they want to appear on the TV screen by tweeting or texting their feedback to the network – was rolled out. "MC Play allows viewers to control their digital experience by creating a curated music video network," Tancredi comments. "It gives them the power to decide what to watch, when they want to watch it."

To showcase its interactive capabilities, last year ESPN worked with gaming giant EA SPORTS on millennial-targeted football game Madden 25. The premise of the campaign had opposing quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick betting against each other on an upcoming live game, with the loser having to shave his eyebrow. In addition to running a 30-second spot during Sports Center with the two players making the bet, fans were driven to ESPN.com to vote on who they thought would win the game – and keep their eyebrow. Conversation on social properties was promoted with hashtags #ColinvsRussell and #EyebrowBowl. The result? More than 54.4 million earned media impressions and 28 million social media impressions. Wilson won the bet, by the way.

Finally, Pivot, which specifically targets young adults aged 18 to 34, is the network behind TakePartLive, "an interactive, nightly news show where viewers get informed and get involved." The hosts discuss news developments taken from Twitter as well as comments contributed by viewers’ tweets. The show is also streamed live on the website www.takepart.com/live.


Millennials <3 Music Choice!

Music Choice is the #1 network among P12-34.

Our high concentration of young adults and targeting ability makes
Music Choice one of the most efficient ways to engage Millennials.

Contact your account rep or tsoper@musicchoice.com for more information.

Source: Nielsen via NPOWER, April 2014, VPVH Ranker. Click here for full source.


Interacting with and sharing pertinent content plays a big role in how millennials want to connect, which requires brands to frequently play the "friend" role. According to research conducted by REVOLT, 66% of 14 to 34 year-olds say, "I expect a brand’s messaging to feel as relevant as what’s in my social feeds today."

Tom Ascheim, president of ABC Family, says that millennials "talk about everything all the time. You have to be a very involved conversational partner for them to feel like you’re paying attention." In addition, such intimacy needs to be handled in an authentic way that makes them feel as if they’re insiders.

That’s why ABC Family rolled out a Flock-to-Unlock program, encouraging viewers to tweet a specific hashtag – and if the number climbed high enough, the net would reveal "special content." ABCF tried out the incentive for the finale of Pretty Little Liars. Fans were asked to tweet their responses to the death of a character played by actress Janel Parrish using #RIPMona in order to see an exclusive reaction from Parrish. The network anticipated it taking several days to reach its goal of 50,000 tweets. Instead, it took 10 minutes.

That kind of momentum garners interest. In June, ABC Family partnered with Audi to release extra Pretty Little Liars footage on Snapchat, which also promoted the launch of Audi’s A-3 model. The brand partnership was Audi’s first. Director of Marketing Loren Angelo said in a statement the campaign aimed to capture "first-time luxury buyers and allows us to engage a younger generation."

Indeed. According to ABC Family’s Ascheim, millennials are at a time in their lives when "you’re becoming who you’re going to be in the world, between childhood and a fully realized self." From an original programming perspective, the possibilities for this kind of storytelling are "rife with opportunity."

Katz comments, "Seventy two-percent of 14 to 34 year-olds say, ‘It’s cooler for a brand to stand out than to fit in.’ We are in the era of all-access and as a result, white noise. Take risks. Stand for something."

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