Nielsen introduces 'Generation C'

27 February 2012

NEW YORK: Marketers should recognise the unique consumption habits of 18 to 34-year-old "Generation C" consumers, Nielsen has argued.

According to a new report from the research firm, conducted in partnership with NM Incite, young adults are still leading the way in terms of early adoption of digital devices.

In the US, Generation C consumers made up 33% of total owners of an iPad or other tablets, compared to a 29% share for 35 to 49-year-olds and 21% for 50 to 64-year-olds.

The pattern repeated itself for smartphones, with 18 to 34-year-olds accounting for 39% of total owners, nine percentage points higher than the second-placed age group.

This overindexing of 18 to 34-year-olds comes despite the higher income profiles of those in older cohorts.

"Their ownership and use of connected devices makes them incredibly unique consumers, representing both a challenge and opportunity for marketers and content providers alike," the Nielsen report added. "Generation C is engaging in new ways and there are more touch points for marketers to reach them."

But the Nielsen data also pointed to significant gender differences in the adoption of mobile devices.

For example, women overindexed on a variety of traditional and digital media activities, accounting for 51% of TV viewers, 53% of online video viewers and 54% of social network and blog visitors.

But men were found to take a majority share in the tablet space, accounting for 53% of device owners. For smartphones, the gender breakdown was even, at 50% each.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff