NEW YORK: Millennial consumers in the US display profoundly different media usage and purchase habits than their older counterparts, a new study has found.

Barkley, the marketing agency, partnered with the Service Management Group, the research firm, and the Boston Consulting Group, the consultancy, to survey 5,000 adults.

In all, 40% of the Millennial audience, or 16-32 year olds, recalled being exposed to brand marketing on social media, falling to 22% for Generation X, or 33-46 year olds, and Baby Boomers, or 47-66 year olds.

Cause marketing also saw greater levels of awareness among Millennials, 33% of which were familiar with Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, measured against 21% of older shoppers, totals standing at 26% and 9% respectively concerning Gap's RED platform.

Elsewhere, just 26% of 16-32 year olds reported watching over 20 hours of TV per week, compared with 49% regarding Generation X and Baby Boomers.

When not viewing live broadcasts, 42% of Millennials "mainly" watch shows on a laptop, more than doubling the norm elsewhere, while 40% use DVRs and 26% utilise video-on-demand services.

Additionally, 70% of 16-32 year olds feel "more excited" if they agree with friends about where to "shop, eat and play", as was the case for 48% of other adults.

Exactly 60% of Millennials typically shop alone, rising to 69% of non-Millennials, and members of the former group also go to stores more frequently with family and friends.

Similarly, 50% of the younger demographic had used a mobile phone while in a store to research products and prices, as had 21% of older participants.

Looking at specific categories, 16-32 year olds dedicated 18% of their monthly out-of-homing dining expenditure to fast-food chains, declining to 13% for the alternative age-groups assessed.

When buying apparel, 29% of Millennials wanted to deal with knowledgeable and fashionable sales staff, which proved true for a more modest 19% of Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Jeff Fromm, a senior vice president at Barkley, said: "Since the Millennials generation is larger than the Baby Boomers and three times bigger than Generation X, marketers' understanding of Millennials' needs, tastes and behaviors will clearly shape current and future business decisions."

Data sourced from Barkley; additional content by Warc staff