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Canadian Millennials lose TV habit

News, 18 February 2015

TORONTO: Television remains a major draw for Canadian consumers who spend half their total media hours with this channel according to a new survey which also highlights the differing media habits of younger and older millennials.

The Canadian Media Landscape study from market intelligence firm Ipsos Reid was based on an online poll of 11,300 Canadian adults. This found that Canadians spent 5.6 hours daily on media consumption – defined as watching, listening, reading, gaming, browsing, and social networking.

Of this total, 2.8 hours went on television and half of that (1.4 hours) was live television.

The study also outlined generational differences, some of which were to be expected.

"We intuitively feel and observe that millennials engage with media differently than other generations," said Mary Beth Barbour, svp at Ipsos Reid in Toronto. The study, she added, had confirmed this but had also uncovered "more nuance".

The key generational differences revealed were that millennials watched less in general, spending only 39% (2.2 hours) of their media hours in this fashion compared to 49% (2.5 hours) for Gen Xers and 57% (3.4 hours) for Boomers.

But when Ipsos Reid dug a little further it found some distinct variations within the 18-32 age group forming millennials

The younger end of the spectrum – Trailing Millennials aged 18 to 24 – watched the least amount of Live TV among any generation, as it accounted for just 7% of their total media hours.

Their older counterparts – Leading Millennials aged 25 to 32 – spent twice as much time with Live TV relatively speaking: 16% of their media hours.

The need to make these distinctions is clear as the latter group are actually closer, in life stage terms, to younger Gen Xers as they become more focused on careers and family, which affect time spent with media and how it is consumed.

"Brands need to recognize they could be missing the mark by considering Millennials as a whole," said Barbour.

But she cautioned against abandoning TV advertising as a means of reaching Trailing or Leading Millennials; that "could very well be short sighted" she said.

Data sourced from Ipsos Reid; additional content by Warc staff