There was an extremely interesting and in depth report published by the Financial Times yesterday, exploring how millennial viewers are transforming the World Cup with their viewing habits. There is a lot of fascinating information in there, and we highly recommend reading it (if you have a subscription, or haven’t used your free views this month), but the basic thrust is that because millennials snack on video in short viewing sessions, often spread across various device types and engage with content in a different way to other generations, the large broadcasters that screen the World Cup need to think differently about how they reach an audience that is increasingly at odds with how they produce content.
When discussing an event as monumental as the World Cup we are obviously touching on only the very biggest global broadcasters, but there are lessons for mid-market broadcasters and content owners when it comes to thinking about how to engage with millennial viewers. From the report, here are three takeaways that we think are particularly pertinent:
1.“Young Britons now watch more Netflix than all forms of BBC television combined.”
It is more important than ever to have some sort of direct to consumer OTT offering in place if you’re a broadcaster or content owner. Millennials watch their content online – and they watch a lot of it – through services that are tailored to meet their requirements, so you need to reach them where they are. More and more, that isn’t on the TV. It’s on the web, or on their mobile, tablet or games console.
2. “In the smartphone era, younger people seldom watch anything for more than a few minutes in a row.”
With millennials snacking on content more than ever, content owners and broadcasters need to tailor their services to deliver content in the way their audience expects. If that means prioritising mobile experiences over traditional big screen viewing, then do it. The key thing is keeping the viewer engaged, which in this case means easily discoverable, drop in, drop out content.
3. “Participation will be greater than ever. People will be constantly plugged into the stream of football content that will be coming out.”
Content specific fans have repeatedly been shown to be more engaged and more likely to binge or snack frequently (depending on viewing behaviour) on video. For owners of niche services, creating experiences that engage these fans and deliver what it is they’re hungry for is a must, because they are the ones that will not only watch most frequently, but also spend most heavily.